Premiership: London Irish stun 14-man Northampton with late try to win 20-16
|Northampton Saints (13) 16|
|Try: Reinach Con: Grayson Pens: Grayson 3|
|London Irish (8) 20|
|Tries: Hassell-Collins, Van der Merwe, Porecki Con: Myler Pen: Myler|
London Irish stunned Northampton with two tries in the last 10 minutes as Saints missed the chance to move above Exeter and go top of the Premiership.
Hooker Dave Porecki set up the first for lock Franco Van der Merwe before scoring with a charge-down try.
Saints had led 13-8 at the break after Cobus Reinach’s try cancelled out Ollie Hassell-Collins’ opener for the Exiles.
But the visitors cashed in after a match-turning red card for home lock Api Ratuniyarawa in the 50th minute.
That was Saints’ second red card in successive Premiership games after Tom Collins’ dismissal in the win at Wasps earlier in the month, when they finished with 13 men.
And they also suffered the loss of England back Piers Francis, stretchered off with a potentially serious injury, although initial reports as to his health sound optimistic.
Irish also fell foul of referee Tom Foley as both scrum-half Ben Meehan and his replacement Nick Phipps were yellow carded.
Former Saints favourite Stephen Myler, third in the list of all-time Premiership points scorers, marked his first return to Franklin’s Gardens since leaving in 2018 with two successful kicks.
More to follow.
Northampton: Tuala; Sleightholme, Hutchinson, Francis, Naiyaravoro; Grayson, Reinach; B Franks, Haywood, O Franks, Coles, Ratuniyarawa, Wood, Harrison (capt), Eadie.
Replacements:Fish, Waller, Painter, Bean, Tonks, Taylor, Symons, Collins.
Sent off: Ratuniyarawa (50).
London Irish: Stokes; Naholo, Rona, Hepetema, Hassell-Collins; Myler, Meehan; Elrington, Porecki, Kepu, Van der Merwe (capt), Coleman, Rogerson, Cowan, Tuisue.
Replacements: Atkins, Dell, Hoskins, Mafi, Donnell, Phipps, Stephenson, Williams.
Sin-bin: Meehan (26), Phipps (63).
Referee: Tom Foley (RFU).