Myler the architect as Irish hearts are broken at death
London Irish 23 Northampton 30
The Madejski Stadium
Monday 27 February 2012
Stephen Myler inspired Northampton to a victory that cemented their play-off ambitions while wrecking those of their hosts. The Saints fly-half was superb in a game that delivered all that is good about the Aviva Premiership. Trailing 18-8 before half-time, Northampton stormed back to claim victory with a last-gasp charge-down try from Ben Nutley that lifted them to third. It was a heartbreaker for Irish, who ended with just a losing bonus point.
Having weathered a surging start by the hosts, Myler missed a penalty given for offside before Northampton steamed ahead two minutes later. The fly-half's hoist was well caught by Paul Diggin, sparking a move that seemed to involve most of the team, before Myler's splendid pass let Noah Cato score by the flag.
Irish almost hit back immediately through James Buckland, but they soon found their way onto the scoreboard when Adrian Jarvis slotted a penalty after Saints had offended in a line-out. Before they could recover, Northampton soon found themselves trailing 10-5 as Topsy Ojo snaffled a high ball, the menacing Sailosi Tagicakibau skipped up the left and Delon Armitage pounced to score, Jarvis adding the conversion.
Back stormed Saints, as Myler made it third kick lucky with a score on the half-hour. Saints then did the same, conceding a sloppy penalty in front of their posts which Jarvis accepted gratefully. But Irish were gifted their second try by Noah Cato as the wing virtually ambled back in pursuit of a Myler kick, realising too late that speedy opponents were upon him. Tagicakibau took charge, swatting away challenges to score.
Saints struck back in style four minutes after the break, another fine team-try that ended with a superb Myler pass, this time soaring right and straight to Roger Wilson. Then another stunning Myler pass sent Diggin racing clear of Armitage in the 51st minute, Myler converting.
The Irish response ? Their third try in a cracking contest. Kennedy pounded upfield, Armitage drew his man before sending Declan Danaher in on the right. Then came the frantic finale. Wonderful stuff!
London Irish: Tries Armitage, Tagicakibau, Danaher Conversion Jarvis Penalties Jarvis 2. Northampton: Tries Cato, Wilson, Diggin, Nutley Conversions Myler, Lamb Penalties Myler 2.
London Irish D Armitage; T Ojo, J Joseph, D Bowden, S Tagicakibau (T Homer, 76); A Jarvis, R Samson (D Allinson, 52); M Lahiff (C Dermody, 61), J Buckland (B Blaney, 42) , F Rautenbach (P Ion, 57), N Kennedy (capt; K Roche, 73), M Garvey, D Danaher, C Hala'Ufia, R Thorpe.
Northampton P Diggin; V Artemyev, G Pisi, J Downey, N Cato (T May, 49); S Myler (R Lamb, 61), M Roberts; S Tonga'uiha (A Waller, 61), A Long, P Doran-Jones (B Mujati, 57), M Sorensen, C Day (B Nutley, 65), S Manoa (J Craig, 76), R Wilson, C Clark (capt).
Referee A Small (London).
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Transfer deadline day: The best memes and tweets, featuring Radamel Falcao, Javier Hernandez and Bart Simpson
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain