Saints do not miss Red Rose players
Northampton Saints 33 Exeter Chiefs 3
Sunday 09 October 2011
Like any proud Englishman, Jim Mallinder would have enjoyed seeing England go all the way in the World Cup. On the other hand the premature rejection of the Red Rose party means that Northampton can welcome back Chris Ashton and Co, even if the Saints did not exactly cover themselves with glory in New Zealand.
So, who is going to replace Martin Johnson in the England job? Just kidding, Johnno... though if there is a change in the hierarchy, Mallinder would be a contender. As a former employee of the RFU he had a very successful stint as coach of the England Saxons, winning 15 out of 16 matches and the Churchill Cup to boot.
"We want England to do well because it's good for club rugby," Mallinder said. "From a selfish point of view it's great to have all our internationals back and we'll chuck a few in next week. England were very disappointing but you sensed that French performance was coming."
The Saints didn't appear to miss anybody. Exeter, who began the season with victory over another debilitated Midlands powerhouse, Leicester, were at their worst here. After a great passage of play Saints hit the front with an early try from James Downey, and although the Chiefs hammered away for most of the first half it got them nowhere.
Ryan Lamb showed how to unlock a defence with a grub-kick that created a try for Paul Diggin. With the Chiefs on the wrong end of a punishing penalty count, Lamb landed four penalties to add to his two conversions, the second of which went over via the bar. His kicking was emulated by Jon Clarke in the second half, resulting in a try for Scott Armstrong. The only regret for Saints is that they failed to turn superior sophistication into a bonus point.
Northampton G Tonks; P Diggin, J Clarke, J Downey (T May, 64), S Armstrong; R Lamb (S Myler, 60), L Dickson (M Roberts, 60); P Doran Jones (A Waller, 57), M Haywood (T Mercey, 71), B Mujati, S Manoa, C Day (M Sorenson, 29), J Craig (R Wilson, 60), P Dowson (capt), C Clark.
Exeter L Arscott; J Tatupu (B Rennie, 52), S Naqelevuki, J Shoemark, M Jess; I Mieres (G Steenson, 60), H Thomas (K Barrett, 60); B Moon (B Sturgess, 52), N Clark (C Whitehead, 52), J Andress (L Fairbrother, 77), T Hayes (capt), A Muldowney (J Phillips, 57), T Johnson (B White, 67), R Baxter, J Scaysbrook.
Referee G Garner(Coventry).
Tries: Downey, Diggin, Armstrong
Cons: Lamb 2, Myler
Pens: Lamb 4
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Calum Chambers: Who is Arsenal's £16m right-back target?
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal resurrects £35m move for midfielder
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace