RECAP: Northampton Saints v Bristol Bears
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to our coverage of the Premiership Round 10 encounter between Northampton Saints and Bristol Bears at Franklin’s Gardens.
Northampton Saints 16-20 defeat at home to London Irish in Round 9 of Premiership Rugby ended a four-game winning run in all competitions. That defeat was the Saints first at home in Premiership Rugby since April.
Bristol Bears are undefeated in their last three first-team matches whilst their victory at home to Gloucester in Round 9 ended a four-game winless run in Premiership Rugby. Bristol’s only away win in the tournament this season came at Exeter in Round 4.
Bristol beat Northampton 26-24 at Franklin’s Gardens in round 16 last season but have not won successive matches against The Saints since 2007.
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Northampton Saints: 15 Harry Mallinder, 14 Tom Collins, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 James Grayson, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Teimana Harrison (co-captain), 7 Tom Wood, 6 Mitch Eadie, 5 Alex Moon, 4 Alex Coles, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller (co-captain).
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Lewis Bean, 20 Devante Onojaife, 21 Alex Mitchell, 22 Fraser Dingwall, 23 Ahsee Tuala.
Bristol Bears: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Sam Bedlow, 11 Alapati Leiua, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Dan Thomas, 6 Steven Luatua (captain), 5 Chris Vui, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 John Afoa, 2 Shaun Malton, 1 Jake Woolmore.
Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Lewis Thiede, 19 Joe Joyce, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Henry Purdy.
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson, Wayne Barnes
Television match official: Graham Hughes