Gloucester remain rooted to the bottom of the Gallagher Premiership table as they crashed to their sixth defeat in seven leagues games. Northampton’s 31-26 success was deserved as they outscored their hosts by four tries to two.

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Number eight Shaun Adendorff scored two of them and Taqele Naiyaravoro and Rory Hutchinson got one apiece with Dan Biggar kicking three penalties and a conversion for the Saints.

Willi Heinz and Matias Alemanno scored Gloucester’s tries, with Billy Twelvetrees adding four penalties and two conversions – but their efforts proved in vain.

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Gloucester made a hash of collecting the kick-off to gift Saints an early platform which enabled Biggar to kick them into an eighth minute lead with a simple penalty.

Two minutes later the hosts were level when Twelvetrees knocked over a straightforward kick but – playing with the wind – Northampton had the better of the opening 15 minutes.

It was therefore against the run of play when the home side scored next.

From a line-out on the Gloucester 22, opposition locks, Api Ratuniyarawa and David Ribbans made strong bursts to threaten the try-line. A score looked likely but home captain Lewis Ludlow intercepted a telegraphed pass to run 70 metres and when Saints were penalised, Twelvetrees kicked his second goal.

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Gloucester v Northampton Saints - Gallagher Premiership - Kingsholm Stadium

Minutes later Twelvetrees added a third before Northampton scored the first try of the game. The visitors battered the line for a continuous period of three minutes before Naiyaravoro was presented with a walk-in.

Biggar missed the conversion but succeeded with a penalty before Northampton full-back George Furbank and Gloucester wing Santiago Carreras had to leave the field after a sickening mid-air collision resulted in them both receiving lengthy treatment on the floor.

However they recovered to walk from the field before a strong run from Lloyd Evans ended with a high tackle and from the resulting penalty Twelvetrees was on-target to give Gloucester an undeserved 12-11 interval lead.

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Gloucester v Northampton Saints - Gallagher Premiership - Kingsholm Stadium

After the restart a knock-on from Ratuniyarawa gave Gloucester early field position and they should have capitalised – but Twelvetrees missed with an angled 22-metre kick.

A couple of well-judged kicks from Heinz kept Saints penned in their own half before the scrum-half scored Gloucester’s opening try. On half-way, Olly Thorley burst past a couple of defenders before running 40 metres to send Heinz in under the posts.

Northampton responded with a well-created try when skilful handling gave Hutchinson the opportunity to penetrate the home defence for an excellent solo effort.

Gloucester v Northampton Saints - Gallagher Premiership - Kingsholm Stadium

Biggar converted before Gloucester conceded a third try. Matt Proctor made ground down the right and when the ball was recycled, a well-judged cross-field kick from Hutchinson was collected by Adendorff to score.

A flowing move, in which Hutchinson and replacement Tommy Freeman were heavily involved, saw Adendorff score his second and the best try of the game before a Biggar penalty sealed the success.

With a minute remaining, Alemanno, forced his way over from close range to give his side a losing bonus point.

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