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Saints boss Dowson reacts to controversial Care incident

By PA
Phil Dowson/ PA

Northampton director of rugby Phil Dowson admitted his frustration at his side’s failure to capitalise on three Harlequins yellow cards as they fell to a 41-32 defeat at Twickenham.

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Danny Care, Louis Lynagh and Tyrone Green were all sent to the sin-bin, with Care fortunate to escape a red card, having already seen yellow when he appeared to come off his feet at the breakdown to kill the ball. Referee Karl Dickson opted to award only a penalty.

Luke Northmore and Will Porter both scored two tries and Stephan Lewies and Caden Murley also crossed as Quins claimed victory in the Big Summer Kick-Off.

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Northampton’s tries came through Ollie Sleightholme, James Ramm, Tom Litchfield and Courtney Lawes, whose score salvaged a bonus point.

Dowson said: “Clearly I would have liked to have conceded fewer points. That’s frustrating and disappointing.

Match Summary

1
Penalty Goals
2
6
Tries
4
4
Conversions
3
0
Drop Goals
0
157
Carries
101
10
Line Breaks
11
6
Turnovers Lost
17
4
Turnovers Won
1

“I said before the game about how dangerous Quins are and we didn’t manage to contain them.”

On the Care incident, he said: “There was a lot going on in that break of play. Karl and the TMO have had a good look at (it) and they’ve deemed that Care pushing James Ramm and diving on the ball wasn’t a yellow-card offence.

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“They had a lot of yellow cards and we didn’t capitalise and that was fundamentally the difference. When we did get opportunities, there’s three or four times we’re on their line and we either dropped the ball or didn’t convert.

“So we left points out there, we didn’t convert chances, particularly in the first half, and when they had chances, they were very, very clinical. There will be a lot to take from it.”

Danny Wilson was pleased to see his Quins side come out and attack.

He said: “We’re going to come out and entertain and we know in this competition and others bonus points are important. We’ve got to score four tries week in, week out, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.

“It’s their DNA, it’s the club’s DNA, it’s what it’s been built on and long may it continue.

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“It’s so tight it’s mad. Every game feels like knockout rugby, so you’ve got to go and score four tries and get bonus points to give yourselves a chance.

“We’ve done what we needed to do in front of a big crowd here, which is an amazing experience.”

He added: “We said at half-time we should be further ahead on the scoreboard if it wasn’t for the yellow cards, which is what gave them a foot up in the game.

“They were all one-off yellow cards that we shouldn’t be giving away.

“We had some really good defensive sets in our own 22, our collisions were way better than what they’ve been.

“We probably got a bit soft a couple of times on edges and, if you give Northampton an edge, they’re going to score from that.”

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