Myler seizes his chance in Saints' fightback

Edinburgh 27 Northampton 31

Northampton have reached the conclusion that convention flies out the window when it comes to Heineken Cup rugby after squeezing out victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

The mantra of many coaches has been "performance, performance, performance" but Jim Mallinder's team now know it is results that matter most in Europe.

After struggling to use the ball with either hands or boot against Castres, those issues were resolved at Murrayfield only for their defence to go missing against Edinburgh. Yet Saints claimed a second win, again by a four-point margin, to move top of Pool One, three points clear of closest rivals Cardiff, who they meet next, home and away, in December.

Captain Dylan Hartley said: "The first-half performance was pretty shoddy but we will take a win away from home. That's what is most important. Away wins are pretty hard to come by in the Heineken Cup but we worked hard for it."

They were made to work hard by an Edinburgh team that had the courage of their convictions in the first half, recovering from Hartley's seventh-minute bulldozer of a try to score three breath-taking tries of their own. Allan Jacobsen, Netani Talei and Ben Cairns all finishing with aplomb as Edinburgh raced into a 24-13 lead after just half-an-hour with a spring in their step.

It took a timely try by James Downey on the stroke of half-time and some choice words in the Saints dressing room immediately after to stem the growing Scottish tide and squeeze out the win. Hartley said: "The first half was not what we are about. We gave Edinburgh far too many easy yards and allowed them to get some easy scores. They proved what an attacking threat they can be and played some good rugby, especially their off-load game from turnovers.

"So we knew we had to solve the problem by cutting out those errors and putting in some tackles. In the end that worked. We dug in, turned things around and produced a second half that we can be proud of.

"Now we have some big games in the Premiership to come before facing Cardiff next," he added,

This game was a fascinating contrast in styles and for all of Edinburgh's free-flowing rugby, Northampton turned the screw up front. The scrums, in particular, were barely a contest.

Star of the first half was Edinburgh's 22-year-old lock Fraser McKenzie, who even managed to outshine Courtney Lawes with his support play. By the end of the game, there was barely a blade of grass on the Murrayfield turf that McKenzie had not covered. The flanker was involved in all three tries, combining with the half-back brothers Dave and Mike Blair, to wonderful effect.

However, the Saints' advantage in the scrums was key, providing the platform for Downey's score and leading directly to Talei's blunder just yards off his own line that ended with Paul Diggin touching down in the corner. Stephen Myler added the conversion and penalty to finish with 16 points and draw a line under the Saints' kicking curse.

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder said: "Steve has been on the bench in recent weeks gagging for his chance and he really took it. He had a fantastic game, he put the ball in the right areas, defended well and kicked his goals." Defeat was harsh on Edinburgh who deserved more than a losing bonus point for their three tries but their Heineken Cup campaign now appears doomed.

Scorers: Edinburgh: Tries A Jacobsen, N Talei, B Cairns; Conversions C Paterson 3; Penalties C Paterson 2. Northampton: Tries: D Hartley, J Downey, P Diggin; Conversions S Myler 2; Penalties S Myler 4.

Edinburgh: C Paterson; J Thompson, B Cairns, J King, T Visser; D Blair, M Blair; A Jacobsen (K Traynor, 65), R Ford (A Kelly, 65), G Cross (D Young, 61), S MacLeod (C Hamilton, 61), F McKenzie, A MacDonald, N Talei, R Grant (capt).

Northampton: G Tonks, C Ashton, J Clarke (J Ansbro 72), J Downey, P Diggin, S Myler, L Dickson (R Powell, 62), S Tongauiha, D Hartley (capt), B Mujati (E Murray, 55), C Lawes, C Day (M Sorenson, 72), P Dowson, R Wilson, T Wood (C Clarke, 70).

Referee: J Garces (France)

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears