Saints stun leaders Harlequins

by staff

Northampton breathed life into the English Premiership title race on Friday after defeating leaders Harlequins 24-3 at Franklin's Gardens.

England fullback Ben Foden and wing Roger Wilson dotted down for tries while five-eighth Ryan Lamb contributed 14 points with the boot as third-placed Saints handed Harlequins only their second defeat of the season.

The result gives Saracens the opportunity to narrow Harlequins' lead at the top of the table to just two points if they can secure a bonus point victory over Bath on Sunday.

Saints No.10 Lamb, tipped as a possible contender for England's Six Nations five-eighth berth, opened the scoring with a penalty to after Quins loose forward Luke Wallace infringed early on.

Lamb then made it 6-0 midway through the half with a drop goal before Foden's try following a powerful run by Samu Manoa made it 11-0.

A second Lamb penalty put Northampton in control at 14-0 before Harlequins finally got on the scoresheet with a Rory Clegg three-pointer.

Yet the home side re-established their 14-point cushion on halftime when Quins second row Ollie Kohn was whistled for pulling back and Lamb duly kicked the ensuing penalty.

Northampton then delivered a knockout blow on 56 minutes, Wilson muscling his way over the line for a converted try that gave the home side a 24-3 lead they never looked like relinquishing.