Northampton 23 - 16 London Welsh

Match info: Premiership at Franklin's Gardens

Date: 24/11/2012 KO: 13:00 Att: 11,695

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Northampton

TriesPenalty (25) Pisi (35)ConversionsLamb (25, 35)PenaltiesLamb (44, 64)Drop GoalsLamb (9)

23
vs
16

London Welsh

TriesPenalty (6)ConversionsRoss (6)PenaltiesRoss (12, 54, 72)

FT (ht: 17-10)

  • Last Updated: November 24 2012, 16:17 GMT

Northampton forwards coach Dorian West is hopeful England stars Dylan Hartley and Ben Foden will be available to play in next weekend's Aviva Premiership clash at Sale Sharks.

Ben Foden: Set to return next week
Ben Foden: Set to return next week

Hartley has missed England's first three autumn internationals with a knee injury along with team-mate Courtney Lawes, though the powerful lock returned to action in Northampton's 23-16 win against London Welsh.

Foden has been out since October 14 after needing an operation on a severely sprained ankle.

West admitted Lawes, who was replaced after 59 minutes, was a little rusty but he came through unscathed and is ready if England need him against New Zealand next week.

West said: "It is never nice to be without your best players.

"Courtney gave us a lot of different options. He is somebody you like to have in your team and I am sure the opposition see his name on the teamsheet and it gives them a bit of a worry. He was slightly rusty, but we will train hard this week and see where he is.

"We are pretty hopeful that Dylan, Ben Foden and George Pisi will be available next week.

"We need to be at our best next week at Sale. Lee has a sore shoulder and we are very hopeful it won't take long to get it right."

London Welsh ran Northampton, who moved back into the play-off spots for 24 hours, close in a game blighted by constant rain.

West continued: "The conditions suited London Welsh more than it did us.

"They have a big pack of forwards and we didn't get a chance to run them round the pitch and tire them out because of the conditions, so they could stick in the game for long periods.

"We were a bit ill-disciplined early on and we stood off their maul for their opening try. Once they got momentum they are hard to stop. I didn't like that try at all - it was a big boost for them.

"We have worked on stopping mauls, but obviously not hard enough, we will have to do some more."

London Welsh director of rugby Lyn Jones felt his side fully deserved their losing bonus point.

He said: "We are really pleased. We came here looking to leave with something.

"I was pleased with the attitude and the boys' approach to the game.

"Northampton have a huge reputation at set-piece time and we took them on there today.

"We just lost the kicking battle, but we stuck in there and I think we deserved a point.

"We will grow in confidence from this performance and you could argue we had the better of their pack today.

"We applied quite a lot of pressure today and we are happy with a point."


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