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Worcester 12-22 Northampton

Worcester (3) 12
Pens: Walker 4

Northampton (15) 22
Tries: S Gray, Diggin, Ansbro Cons: Everitt 2 Pen: Everitt

Saints wing Paul Diggin
Diggin raced in from 60m to score Northampton's second try

Northampton recorded their first Premiership away win for more than two years after beating lowly Worcester.

The visitors responded well to their home defeat by Newcastle last week and took charge in the first half with tries from Scott Gray and Paul Diggin.

On-loan Worcester fly-half Willie Walker kept his side in the hunt with his fourth penalty on 69 minutes.

But Saints sealed the victory with a converted try from replacement centre Joe Ansbro with seven minutes to go.

The victory ends a poor spell of away form for Northampton, ending a run that began before they were relegated to National League One in 2007.

Northampton have now moved into eighth place, above champions Wasps who play on Sunday, while Worcester are still 12 points clear of basement club Bristol.

Worcester rugby director Mike Ruddock:
"I thought Northampton took their chances - they had four, and took three.

"The rest of the game, we dominated possession and tried to create, but we didn't cut their defence.

"We had six or seven good chances to score, but Northampton defended really well.

"When we got back to 15-12, and Northampton went down to 14 men when Scott Gray was sin-binned, we should have showed a ruthless streak and put them away.

"We did all the hard work, but we didn't go for the jugular. I would be more worried though, if we weren't creating opportunities."

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder:
"It is a relief - a monkey off our back.

"We've played well in a number of games away from home this season, and our defence was very good. We cancelled Worcester's threat out wide.

"Ben Foden looked a threat. I think both Ben and Dylan Hartley are fantastic rugby players. Ben has a good all-round full-back's game - he hits the line with such power and pace."

Worcester: Latham; Gear, Rasmussen, Grove, Garvey; Walker, Powell; Mullan, Lutui, Taumoepeau, Rawlinson, Bowley, Talei, Sanderson (c), Horstmann.
Replacements: Benjamin for Grove (46), R Powell for M Powell (41), Fortey for Lutui (60), Morris for Tuamoepeau (67), Kitchener for Rawlinson (66), Collins for Talei (66).
Not Used: Carlisle.

Northampton: Foden; Diggin, Clarke, Downey, Reihana (capt); Everitt, Dickson; Smith, Hartley, Murray, Lawes, Kruger, Best, S Gray, Wilson.
Replacements: Ansbro for Clarke (65), Myler for Everitt (75), Lamont for Dickson (69), Tonga'uiha for Smith (52), Rae for Lawes (69).
Not Used: Sharman, Hopley.

Sin Bin: S Gray (68).

Att: 10,319

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see also
Worcester rocked by Wood injury
05 Mar 09 |  Worcester
Northampton 13-19 Newcastle
28 Feb 09 |  English

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