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Wasps end Franklin's Gardens hoodoo


Rob Miller touched down in Wasps' victory

Rob Miller touched down in Wasps' victory

Rob Miller touched down in Wasps' victory

Wasps claimed their first win at Franklin's Gardens since November 2005 as they put Northampton Saints to the sword in ruthless fashion in the Aviva Premiership.

Dai Young's men scored three tries in the first 30 minutes of the game on their way to a 24-11 victory.

Dan Robson, Rob Miller and Josh Bassett were the men who put the visitors in control and Northampton struggled to summon any sort of response.

The home side only had two Stephen Myler penalties and a late Sam Dickinson try to show for their efforts as they dropped down to sixth in the standings.

It was a huge win for Wasps, who had opted not to call on the services of in-form centre Elliot Daly and loosehead prop Matt Mullan, despite the fact both players had been released by England earlier in the week.

Northampton made seven changes to the team that claimed a bonus-point Champions Cup win at Scarlets six days earlier, with the most notable being the return of Kieran Brookes, who had not played since December 19.

But it was to be the visitors who made the stronger start in the swirling wind and rain, securing an early penalty which Jimmy Gopperth gratefully landed.

And the fly-half was soon adding the extras to a try as Robson dived over to become the first man to score a try against the Saints on their own turf in five matches in all competitions.

Gopperth added the extras to make it a 10-0 lead, and Wasps were really enjoying themselves when Miller beat two weak tackles to score his team's second try.

Gopperth's conversion made it 17-0, before Myler responded with a penalty to get Northampton on the board.

But the shocking Saints start was accentuated when Miller walked through the home defence and teed up Bassett for Wasps' third try inside half an hour.

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder headed down to the side of the pitch to offer verbal encouragement to his players, but despite some overdue pressure from the home team, Wasps held out to preserve their 21-point lead going into the break.

The away side were struck by a yellow card early in the second period as Nathan Hughes was sent to the sin bin, with Myler landing the subsequent penalty.

Gopperth had the chance to respond, but he fluffed his kick, ensuring the gap stayed at 18 points.

The game was over as a contest and some home supporters showed their disappointment by leaving 15 minutes before the end.

Those fans were to miss Dickinson's try as the number eight picked up a loose ball to score in the corner.

But it was scant consolation on a night when Wasps brought their barren run in Northampton to an end.