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Northampton hold on to edge out Gloucester in Premiership

Northampton v Gloucester

Gloucester had beaten Sale and drawn with Worcester and Exeter away from home this season

Northampton held off a fine Gloucester fightback to battle their way to a Premiership win at Franklin’s Gardens.

France number eight Louis Picamoles’ disputed try, after there appeared to be double movement, put Saints on the board as they led 13-3 at half-time.

Gloucester flanker Jacob Rowan reduced the deficit and wing Charlie Sharples finished a flowing team move to give the Cherry and Whites the lead.

Tom Kessell put Saints in front before James Hook missed a penalty to level.

Former Wales fly-half Hook’s kick five minutes before full-time and from just inside his own half was straight but fell short of the posts.

  • Relive Northampton’s win over Gloucester

Defeat ended Gloucester’s unbeaten away record in the Premiership this season, but there was an air of controversy about the way they went behind.

Referee Tom Foley seemed to overrule the initial advice given to him by the television match official that Picamoles grounded the ball before crossing, instead deciding he was driven over fairly.

The accuracy of both starting kickers also proved crucial – the usually reliable Gloucester skipper Greig Laidlaw missed two first-half penalties, while Saints’ Stephen Myler sent over all five kicks from the tee.

Rowan and Sharples’ scores in each corner gave the visitors a chance of their second league win of the season, but with 10 minutes to go, replacement scrum-half Kessell latched on to the magnificent Picamoles’ offload to cross.

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Jacob Rowan scored his first Premiership try for Gloucester

Northampton: Foden; Wilson, G Pisi, Mallinder North; Myler, Dickson; Waller, Haywood, Brookes, Paterson, Day, Wood (capt), Clark, Picamoles.

Replacements: Hartley, Waller, Hill, Ratuniyarawa, Gibson, Kessell, Hutchinson, Tuala.

Gloucester: Hook; Sharples, Scott, Atkinson, May; Twelvetrees, Laidlaw (capt); McAllister, Hibbard, Afoa, Savage, Galarza, Moriarty, Rowan, Morgan.

Replacements: Matu’u, Orr, Ma’afu, Latta, Kvesic, Heinz, Burns, Purdy.

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