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Saints demolish Irish
Northampton move clear at the top of the table
Posted Nov 29, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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Northampton Saints strengthened their grip on top spot of the Aviva Premiership with a tremendous 35-23 victory over second placed London Irish at Franklin Gardens on Friday night.
The Saints are now eight points clear of Irish having won eight of their nine fixtures to date and, as predicted, are the team everyone is going to have to beat if they want to win the Aviva Premiership this season.
The hosts were in sparkling form in Friday’s live televised game, especially in the first half where they raced into a 27-9 lead. Ryan Lamb struck two early drop goals for Irish before Saints hit back with tries from Jamie Elliott and Paul Diggin. Jon Clarke then crosses on the stroke of half-time as the Exiles wilted under the immense pressure being thrust in their direction.
Diggin’s second try after the interval ensured the bonus point for Northampton before Chris Halla’ufia went over for the visitors and Topsy Ojo also touched down.
The Saints were hugely impressive, especially when you consider that they were without six of their international players. London Irish are a class outfit but even with a strong team out they were no match for the Saints. The home side dominated every aspect of the match and laid down a marker for the rest of the league. They proved they have strength in depth and will take some beating this season.
This win highlights that Northampton as the best team in the land by a country mile and as things are, don’t be surprised if they win the league and the play-offs this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Saints do something in Europe this year and if they can reduce the amount of injuries they are suffering with at the minute then it will take a lot to stop them.
Although finishing top doesn’t mean much in the Aviva Premiership, the Saints will send out a message if they continue to dominate how they are. Unfortunately the consistently best team doesn’t always win the title and it’s usually the form team of the top four come the end of the season but I think that Saints will still be there or there abouts come the end of the current campaign.