Biggar the starman as Northampton dominate Newcastle Falcons
Dan Biggar kicked 17 points as Northampton secured a comfortable bonus-point win away at Newcastle, running in five tries in a 44-8 triumph.
The result moves them up to fifth in the Premiership table, just three points off the top four, while Newcastle sit eighth.
The Saints had the first opportunity of the game at Kingston Park, as Alex Waller kicked a loose ball forward from halfway and – with no-one home for the Falcons – he seemed likely to score but slipped going for the ball, allowing Newcastle to get back and win a penalty.
Newcastle fly-half Joel Hodgson landed the first points of the game as he kicked a simple penalty after Northampton were pinged for offside after 15 minutes.
Northampton soon responded though with a try from Collins.
A huge hit in the middle from Fraser Dingwall dislodged the ball, which was hacked forward by Rory Hutchinson for Collins to gather and dot down over the line. Biggar converted the kick to put the visitors ahead after 22 minutes.
The lead was extended four minutes later as Biggar knocked over a penalty as the Saints began to take control of the match.
Referee Matthew Carley stamped his authority on the game with yellows for Newcastle’s Philip Van der Walt and Northampton’s Teimana Harrison for a fracas on the floor following a penalty.
Saints added their second try on the half-hour after Skosan ran clear in under the posts. Biggar added the conversion and kicked a penalty to further cement the lead.
Biggar got the first points of the second half as he knocked over a drop goal to give his side a 20-point advantage.
However, the Falcons forced their way back as a series of penalties from Saints five metres out gave Newcastle the platform to attack.
George McGuigan delivered, burrowing over from a rolling maul – however Hodgson was not able to add the extras.
The visitors responded almost immediately and Matavesi crashed over after breaking away from a maul with an hour played. Biggar once again added the two points.
The bonus point was secured in the 62nd minute. Saints got clear down the left side and Collins chipped ahead delicately and the bounce was kind to Furbank who was able to slide in.
The scoring was not finished yet though, as Northampton grabbed their fifth try through replacement James. Furbank made the try with a fantastic line through the middle and he gave a simple pass to James who was able to canter in under the posts. Furbank kicked the conversion.
That final try added the gloss to a flowing performance from Northampton who bounced back after their defeat to Saracens.
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