Premiership: Northampton Saints 26-19 Exeter Chiefs – Tommy Freeman wins the double at home


Tommy Freeman’s first try put Saints ahead at the break
Northampton: (10) 26
Attempts: Freeman 2 Cons: Smith 2 Pens: Smith 4
Exeter: (7) 19
Attempts: Van Heerden, Simmonds 2 Cons: Simmonds 2

Northampton moved up to fourth in the Premiership with a 26-19 win over Exeter at Franklin’s Gardens.

Ruben van Heerden canceled out Exeter’s early goal with a Fin Smith penalty and Tommy Freeman’s 30th-minute try as the hosts led 10-7 at the break.

Two Smith penalties extended the lead before Joe Simmonds took advantage of Aaron Hinkley’s yellow card to make it two tries in quick succession.

But another Smith penalty and Freeman’s second try sealed victory for Northampton.

Exeter got a late bonus point after George Furbank missed a late penalty, but a third successive defeat leaves the Chiefs sixth in the table after seven games.

Exeter have won on their last three visits to Franklin’s Gardens and after Van Heerden’s early try on the Saints line showed they were eager to make it four in a row in 15 phases of Chiefs pressure.

But Smith responded with a penalty in a first half dominated by a tactical shooting battle, with Northampton’s Fraser Dingwall disallowing a 19th-minute try after a tackle in the build-up, before Freeman was awarded a quick-fire penalty for a pair. to pass the metro 11 minutes later.

Smith kicked two penalties in the first 10 minutes of the second half to put Saints nine points ahead before Hinkley was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle following a clash with Chiefs scrum-half Jack Maunder.

Exeter finished soon after as the Saints line-up won the ball near the home side’s line and eight phases later Simmonds scored in the opposite corner, Exeter wing-half Fraser Dingwall charging and sprinting in after five minutes. half way

But Exeter’s lack of discipline cost them – they conceded 15 penalties on the night and Smith kicked a fourth to make it 19-19 with 13 minutes remaining.

Four minutes later, Freeman impatiently headed into the left-hand corner from a close-range maul as Phil Dowson’s side won for the fourth time in five Premiership games.

Northampton: Freeman; Skosan, Dingwall (captain), Hutchinson, Sleightholme; Smith, James; Iyogun, Haywood, Painter, Salakaia-Loto, Moon, Scott-Young, Hinkley, Graham

Replacements: Smith, Waller, Hill, Nansen, Sylvester, Mitchell, Furbank, Proctor

Exeter: Hodge; John, O’Loughlin, Whitten, Woodburn; J Simmonds, J Maunder; Sio, Yeandle (captain, Williams, Dunne, van Heerden, Ewers, Pearson, Vermeulen

Replacements: Innard, Hepburn, Joseph-Scott, Jenkins, Tuima, S Maunder, Beckonsall O’Brien

Judge: Craig Maxwell-Keys