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Page last updated at 22:36 GMT, Friday, 14 January 2011

Northampton 37-0 Edinburgh

Northampton (15) 37
Tries: Mujati, Diggin 4. Con: Ford, Myler 2. Pens: Myler 2.
Edinburgh (0) 0

Paul Diggin scores four of Northampton's five tries
Diggin scored four of Northampton's five tries

Paul Diggin scored four tries as Northampton Saints thrashed sorry Edinburgh to secure top spot in Pool One of the Heineken Cup.

Unbeaten Northampton are the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals, while Edinburgh sink to the foot of the pool after Cardiff Blues won.

Stephen Myler was also influential with the boot, recovering from a big hit early on to orchestrate the win.

The victory is Northampton's fifth consecutive win in the competition.

But it was a far from a vintage performance from the Saints against a dogged but poor Edinburgh side, who never looked like threatening the home side's unbeaten European record.

Northampton had the better of the opening exchanges and it came as no surprise when they took a fifth-minute lead.

Myler declined to kick for goal when a penalty was awarded, choosing the option of a kick to the corner.

Saints won the line-out and drove forward with Brian Mujati being awarded the try following confirmation from the video referee with Myler converting.

Edinburgh responded immediately with some good attacking play with Tim Visser running strongly past Joe Ansbro on two occasions, but Chris Paterson was unable to give them reward when he missed a 45m penalty attempt.

A poor pass from Ross Rennie allowed Northampton to get back into their stride and Myler made no mistake with a straightforward penalty to give the home side a 10-point lead after 15 minutes.

The Saints continued to be the dominant side and extended their lead on the half-hour.

Jon Clarke and James Downey, the Northampton centres, combined cleverly to threaten the visitors' defence before a neat kick ahead by Myler was expertly picked up by Diggin for a try, again confirmed by the video referee, which Myler was unable to convert.

Just before half-time Edinburgh received another setback when prop Kyle Traynor was yellow-carded following a melee between a few players.

However, Myler's long-range penalty attempt fell short to leave the Saints 15-0 ahead at the interval.

606: DEBATE

Influential forwards Dylan Hartley and Mujati were replaced on the hour, indicating that the Saints considered the job done with the game deteriorating rapidly as both sides made a huge amount of unforced errors.

Northampton got their third try eight minutes from time when, following another handling breakdown by the visitors, Diggin was put in the clear to race 50m to score.

And in the last two minutes there were two more for the wing as he supported excellent running from Ben Foden and Bruce Reihana.


Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder told BBC Radio Northampton:
"I'm very proud, to win five games out of five is a really good effort. The score suggests that we won easily, but in the first half, Edinburgh put us under a lot of pressure.

"We held our nerve towards the end, when everyone was thinking about that bonus point.

"European Cup games are tough. To win by that score - we're delighted. It's a long weekend if you lose but when you win, you can relax."

Edinburgh coach Rob Moffat:
"Northampton had too much control.

"They pressurised us into making too many mistakes. We panicked and made a whole lot of errors.

"They have a good pack at the top of their game. It was always going to be difficult coming here and we gave away a couple of soft tries.

"We created a bit in the first half but we made mistakes at crucial times when we looked threatening."


Northampton: Foden, Ansbro, Clarke, Downey, Diggin, Myler, Powell; Tonga'uiha, Hartley, Mujati, Clark, Day, Dowson, Wood, Wilson.

Replacements: Sorenson for Day (32), Sharman for Hartley (56), Mercey for Mujati (58), Reihana for Downey (64), Easter for Wood (64), Commins for Powell (69), Waller for Tonga'uiha (70).

Edinburgh: Paterson, Thompson, Cairns, De Luca, Visser, D. Blair, M. Blair; Traynor, Ford, G. Cross, MacLeod, Lozada, MacDonald, Rennie, Grant.

Replacements: Webster for Paterson (34), Niven for Grant (42), Young for Cross (49), Hamilton for Grant (56), McInally for Young (56), King for Cairns (64), Laidlow for M. Blair (64), Little for Visser (73).



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see also
Lawes 'could play in Six Nations'
12 Jan 11 |  Rugby Union
Saints' Foden eyes greater attack
10 Jan 11 |  Northampton
Leicester 27-16 Northampton
08 Jan 11 |  English
Edinburgh 24-22 Castres
20 Dec 10 |  Edinburgh
Edinburgh 27-31 Northampton
16 Oct 10 |  Edinburgh


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