Mar 23 2013
Northampton's forward dominance eventually told as Christian Day's last-gasp try saw them enhance their Aviva Premiership play-off aspirations and end Wasps' unbeaten home record with a 26-24 victory at a snowy Adams Park.
Saints bossed the close exchanges and a penalty try plus further scores from Lee Dickson and Dylan Hartley - as well as four points from Stephen Myler's boot - gave them a 19-16 half-time lead.
Wasps had twice been reduced to 14 men as Rhys Thomas and Tom Palmer went to the bin in the first half, but Tom Varndell's try, two penalties and a conversion from Stephen Jones, and a three-pointer from Elliot Daly kept them in it before the latter's wonderful finish down the left, after another Jones penalty, briefly put them on course for a remarkable victory - until Day struck late on.
Ashley Johnson became the third Wasps player to receive a yellow card, and another punishing series of Saints drives ended with Day getting the crucial fourth try at the death, with Myler's conversion sealing the win.
Freddie Burns broke London Welsh hearts with a penalty five minutes from time as Gloucester secured a hard-fought 15-14 win at Kingsholm.
Wing Phil MacKenzie's 52nd-minute try and three penalties by fly-half Gordon Ross put basement club Welsh on the verge of only their fifth league win this season. It would have closed the gap to two points on Sale Sharks - 14-13 conquerors of Bath on Friday night - but Gloucester fly-half Burns had other ideas.
Four penalties from Toby Flood steered Leicester to second place in the table, at least for 24 hours, as they moved to within a point of leaders Saracens with a 12-9 victory in a tryless contest at Exeter.
The Chiefs had to settle for a losing bonus point, after Gareth Steenson had kicked three first-half penalties, as they remain in eighth place - but crucially 12 points outside the top four.
London Irish took another major step towards survival with a comfortable 26-6 victory over a disappointing Worcester at the Madejski Stadium. With this win Irish have at present a 10-point cushion over bottom club London Welsh and a five-point lead over 11th-placed Sale, with Irish still having to play those two clubs at home in their remaining four fixtures.
Matt Garvey, Halani Aulika and Christopher Hala'ufia were the Irish try-scorers, with Tom Homer contributing 11 points. Andy Goode was on target with two penalties for Worcester.