Aviva Premiership: Three talking points as Saints beat Gloucester
Aviva Premiership: Northampton Saints move to the top of the table after a 39-13 victory over Gloucester
Second-half cruise for Saints
Jim Mallinder’s Northampton Saints jumped Saracens back to the top spot with a five-try bonus-point win over struggling Gloucester at Franklins Gardens, but had to wait until the second half to really get going as Henry Trinder and Freddie Jones kept the visitors in the match at the break. In an 11th successive Premiership win, the Saints avenged their only defeat of the season at Kingsholm in September as superior strength in depth from the bench proved pivotal and the odd mistake prevented them stretching away sooner. Gloucester were still in sight on the scoreboard with 15 minutes to go, before the Saints scored their third try and tries in the final 10 minutes from Alex Waller and Will Hooleyput the result beyond doubt.
Myler wins battle of the England 10s
Stephen Myler won his individual battle with Freddie Burns as he racked up 14 points with four conversions and two penalties, missing only his final conversion in the last minute. Burns and Myler have both been around the England camp with Bath’s George Ford as understudies to Saracens outside-half Owen Farrell. While Burns has had a poor season with the Cherry and Whites, Myler again showcased why he is the most accurate kicker in the Premiership this season, while Burns kicked five points in the first half and added a second penalty seven minutes into the second, but was unable to influence proceedings as Gloucester’s forwards failed to handle the Saints at the set pieces.
Full-back Ben Foden returned after 14 weeks out with a knee injury with a second-half appearance. The 28-year-old was one of a number of England
players to miss out on Stuart Lancaster’s Six Nations squad with his last international appearances coming on the wing in the autumn internationals, but he impressed when he came on with 30 minutes remaining with pacey breaks to give the Saints good territory on another day for Gloucester to forget.