Northampton Saints 26 Saracens 7 match report: George Pisi sends Saints powering into LV=Cup final with second half hat-trick

Saracens led at the break but failed to trouble to scores after the break as Saints booked their place in next week's final

A George Pisi hat-trick powered Northampton into next week's LV= Cup final at Sandy Park as they defeated Saracens 26-7 at Franklin's Gardens.

Saracens dominated the first half but were left to rue missed chances and a ruled out try, with just a converted score from Ben Ransom to show for their efforts.

Northampton stormed back after the break with Pisi's three tries augmented by five points from Stephen Myler's boot and two penalties by Will Hooley.

The home side started well with James Craig getting over the ball to win the first penalty for 20-year-old fly-half Hooley made it 3-0 after four minutes. Five minutes later Hooley made it 6-0 when a 10 metre lineout drive was brought down by the visitors but for the rest of the half it was all Saracens.

A break from their 22 saw Tim Streather storm up field, but Michael Tagicakibau was caught by Tom Collins eight metres short of the line and his offload fell to the floor.

Two minutes later Saracens' Jack Collins broke on the opposite wing only to be stopped by England full-back Ben Foden, who was making his first start since the end of November after a knee injury.

Young Northampton centre Tom Stephenson limped off early on to be replaced by Myler with Hooley moving into midfield and from then on gaps started to appear in what is the best defence in the competition.

The pressure finally told in the 20th minute as Jackson Wray broke off a five-metre scrum to within a metre of the try-line and Ransom then slipped a tackle to touch down. Scrum-half Ben Spencer converted to put Saracens 7-6 in front.

Northampton's kicking game was not up to scratch whereas Saracens were typically voracious in chasing theirs and it won them a 31st minute penalty, but Spencer missed from 35 metres.

Saracens thought they had a second try when Marcelo Bosch stepped through the Northampton line 10m out but referee Leighton Hodges went to the television match official, who spotted a forward pass from Nils Mordt to Wray in the build-up.

The home side were fortunate and relieved to go into half-time just one point behind. The visitors continued their domination with Streather wrecking a great chance for a second try but Saints won a scrum penalty on their 22 and the momentum changed.

A clever kick from Kahn Fotuali'i brought Northampton two five metre lineout drives that got them onto the Saracens' try-line and at pace Pisi clattered over though it took television replays to confirm it.

Hooley missed the simple conversion to leave the home side 11-7 ahead, though Myler made up for it with a drop-goal on 59 minutes.

Northampton showed Saracens how to take their chances, with Pisi claiming a second try after a terrific Saints kick-chase brought a scrum five metres out and quick ball saw the centre charge over from short range on 65 minutes. Hooley again missed the extras.

Charlie Hodgson came off the bench and intercepted a Samu Manoa pass to almost race home from his 22, but Pisi superbly brought him down five metres short.

With two minutes left on the clock the Samoan completed his man of the match display by blasting through on the cut back to score his third try that Myler converted.

PA

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map