Premiership: Newcastle 16-22 Northampton

Newcastle (6) 16

  • Tries: Cato
  • Cons: Hodgson
  • Pens: Clegg 3

Northampton (19) 22

  • Tries: Wilson 2, Stephenson
  • Cons: Myler 2
  • Pens: Myler

James Wilson scored two first-half tries against Newcastle as Northampton extended their winning run to 11 games in all competitions.

Wilson touched down either side of Tom Stephenson's effort, with Stephen Myler converting two to put Saints 19-6 up.

Rory Clegg booted his third penalty for Falcons before Myler slotted Saints' only second-half points.

Saints' march to 11 wins

14 Dec: 18-9 v Leinster (A) Heineken Cup

21 Dec: 17-15 London Wasps (A) Premiership

28 Dec: 43-25 Bath (H) Premiership

3 Jan: 23-9 v Harlequins (H) Premiership

12 Jan: 29-17 v Ospreys (A) Heineken Cup

17 Jan: 13-3 v Castres Olympique (H) Heineken Cup

25 Jan: 34-16 v NG Dragons (A) LV= Cup

1 Feb: 20-16 v Saracens (H) LV= Cup

8 Feb: 17-16 v Exeter (A) Premiership

15 Feb: 30-14 v Worcester (H) Premiership

23 Feb: 22-16 v Newcastle (A) Premiership

Noah Cato grabbed a late intercept try and Joel Hodgson added the extras to secure a losing bonus point.

In the process of adding to their remarkable winning streak, dating back to December when they overcame Leinster away in the Heineken Cup, Saints also notched up their 10th straight Premiership triumph - a run that started with a 41-20 win against Saracens in October.

Northampton's opening try on seven minutes came from a quick free-kick by scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i, and Wilson cruised over in the corner as Newcastle's defence went missing.

Clegg replied with a penalty, only for Stephenson to finish a stunning, weaving try under the posts from which Myler made it 12-3.

Again it was Clegg that teed up Newcastle's points, finding the mark with one of two of his attempts, before Wilson went over for his second try, handed to him by George Pisi after terrific passing under pressure from Fotuali'i and Myler.

With the assistance of the wind, Myler gave the visitors a comfortable half-time lead, but Newcastle made things tougher after the break.

The hosts spurned two kickable penalties to go for the line-out drive but Northampton's defence proved as good as their attack and both drives fizzled out.

Eventually Clegg made it 19-9 before the hour, with Myler restoring the 13-point gap with a kick of his own.

Late on, Falcons managed to get something out of the game with Cato's converted try, having snapped up a loose pass to race away.

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards:

Post-match: Newcastle boss Dean Richards

"I think at half-time we were looking at them getting a tryscoring bonus point so I suppose you have to be happy with getting a losing bonus point at the end.

"The boys sat down at half-time and got their heads together and challenged themselves to turn it around - and they did.

"We played with wind the first half, didn't capitalise on it, conceded three tries and at half-time we were thinking 'what the hell do we do?', but to be fair to the players they challenged themselves to turn it around and they did.

"We just tend to drift in and out and we just haven't put together 40 or 80 minutes of consistent rugby."

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder:

"We played really well in the first half into a bit of a breeze, scored three tries and, of course, you would like to kick on.

"But Newcastle upped their game and played well in the second half. That saw us struggle in the line-out to get possession and we were defending on the back foot at the end at little bit - but we got the four points and were happy with that.

"It's tough to play rugby out there in those conditions but it's same for both sides. It was very wet under foot and got worse in the second half.

"We've said it before you're never going to get it easy during the international period and you don't get an easy game of rugby coming up to Newcastle.

"It's all about getting the win and keeping the momentum."

Sunday's line-ups

Newcastle: Tait; Cato, Tiesi, Helleur, Shortland; Clegg, Blair; Vickers, Thompson, Tomaszczyk; MacLeod, McKenzie; Wilson, Welch (capt), Hogg.

Replacements: : Powell for Helleur (48), J Hodgson for Clegg (65), Strain for Vickers (17), McGuigan for Thompson (67), Brookes for Tomaszczyk (64), York for Hogg (40). Not Used: Tomes, Fury.

Northampton: Wilson; K Pisi, G Pisi, Stephenson, Elliott; Myler, Fotuali'i; Waller, Haywood, Ma'afu; Manoa, C. Day; Clark, Dowson (capt), Dickinson.

Replacements: McMillian for Haywood (73), Nutley for C. Day (65). Not Used: E. Waller, Denman, van Velze, A. Day, G. Dickson, Foden.

Attendance: 4,846

Referee: Andrew Small (RFU)