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Cardiff Outplayed At The Arms Park

Cardiff Outplayed At The Arms Park

Cardiff 0 Northampton Saints 31

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Northampton completed their double over Cardiff, with a very comfortable victory at the Arms Park to add to their win at Franklin’s Gardens last week. The home side were never really in the game and the winning margin could very easily have been more

Northampton outside-half Paul Grayson opened the scoring with a penalty after two minutes and the Saints never looked back from that moment.
Heineken man-of-the-match Tom Smith scored the first try of the game, bursting over from a ruck close to the Cardiff line, Grayson kicked the conversion.

New Zealander Andrew Blowers went over for the second try when Nick Robinson failed to gather a poor pass from Peter Rogers. John Leslie picked the ball up for Northampton and passed it to outside centre Chris Hyndman who gave it to Blowers. The backrower ran past Cardiff wing Anthony Sullivan’s despairing tackle to score and Grayson added the conversion, leaving the Blue and Blacks 17-0 down after only 10 minutes.

Northampton made their intentions clear when they elected to kick for touch from a penalty that Grayson would kick in his sleep. Cardiff’s players looked as if they really were asleep as passes didn’t go to hand and Iestyn Harris missed his touch from a penalty kick no more than 15 metres infield.

The visitors scored their third try after 39 minutes when a Paul Grayson cross kick caught Sullivan napping. Ben Cohen gathered it on the bounce and ran in to score at the posts, leaving Grayson with a conversion he couldn’t miss.

Saints second row Rob Hunter was sent to the sin bin in injury time at the end of the first half for being offside at a ruck on the visitors’ five metre line.
The one positive from the game for Cardiff was Rogers’ superiority over Saints tighthead Robbie Morris in the scrums and it was no surprise when Chris Budgen came on to replace Morris after three minutes of the second half.

Budgen scored Northampton’s fourth and final try after 58 minutes when he dived over from a ruck metres out from the Cardiff line. Grayson was again successful with the conversion.
Cardiff second row Heino Senekal was sin-binned for not retreating 10 metres when Saints’ replacement scrum half Johnny Howard attempted to take a tap penalty, despite the fact that Howard knocked the ball on.

Northampton could have scored more tries in the last few minutes but Cohen was brought back when he was clean through for a forward pass and Hyndman knocked on with the line at his mercy. The Cardiff supporters went home feeling thoroughly depressed, having watched their side being completely outclassed by the visitors.

Scorers: Northampton Saints: Tries: T Smith, A Blowers, B Cohen, C Budgen; Cons: P Grayson 4; Pen: P Grayson.

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