Northampton Saints vs Treviso match report: Easy Pisi as Saints run riot to register their biggest European haul

Northampton 67 Treviso 0: George North was at his destructive best as Saints barely broke sweat to clinch a second straight bonus point win

Click to follow
The Independent Online

There have been few easier European games than this, whether under the old Heineken banner or the new Champions Cup logo. Northampton have stockpiled 105 points in their two meetings against hapless Treviso which will give them a substantial cushion when push comes to shove against their Pool 5 rivals, Racing Metro, in January.

Eleven tries created a European record for Saints, and it is doubtful whether a swifter hat-trick has been scored than that by Samu Manoa. The big American forward entered the fray with an hour gone and, within 11 minutes, registered three tries, the second with a dummy and acceleration from 35 metres.

Ken Pisi was positively sluggish by comparison, spreading his three tries over a 42-minute period, but his first helped his club to a bonus point well before half-time. They scored five tries in the final quarter, urged on by a near-capacity crowd.

 

How relevant this will be when they run up against Leicester in the Aviva Premiership next weekend remains to be seen but they are in fine fettle. They are fit (a dead leg forced George North, the Wales wing, off prematurely but he is expected to be available), they are in form, they are playing controlled, direct rugby and they have the versatility of such individuals as James Wilson, who moved from full-back to wing and then to fly-half, showing deft handling.

George-North.jpg
North returned from the concussion he suffered in the Wales defeat to New Zealand

“I was pleased with the manner in which we played, we didn’t play loosely,” Dylan Hartley, their captain, said. “It’s nice leading into next week, that’s one game on the calendar we all look forward to,” he added with a hint of menace.

Line-ups:

Northampton: J Wilson; K Pisi, G Pisi, T Stephenson, G North (B Foden, 43); S Myler L Burrell, 51), K Fotuali’i (L Dickson, 61); E Waller (A Waller, 67), D Hartley (capt; M Haywood, 51), S Mafu (G Denman, 51), S Dickinson, C Lawes (C Day, 58), C Clark (S Manoa, 61), T Wood, P Dowson.

Treviso: J Hayward; S Ragusi, L Morisi (J Ambrosini, 58), E Bacchin (R Trevisan,48), L Nitoglia; J Carlisle, E Gori (S Favaro, 73); M Zanusso (R Acosta, 58), A Anae (A Kudin, 50), M Muccignat (C Garfagnoli, 54), A Pavanello (capt; T Vallejos, 54)), M Fuser, M Swanepoel (M Lazzaroni, 62), F Minto, M Luamanu.

Referee: J Gauzere (France).

Comments