Premiership: Bristol 10-32 Northampton Saints

Louis Picamoles
Louis Picamoles scored his first try for the club after his summer move from Toulose
Bristol (3) 10
Tries: McMillan Cons: Pisi Pens: Pisi
Northampton (25) 32
Tries: North, Picamoles, K Pisi, Haywood Cons: Myler 2, Mallinder Pens: Myler 2

Northampton secured their first Premiership win of the season as they eased past Bristol at the newly renovated Ashton Gate.

George North, Louis Picamoles and Ken Pisi scored before the break for Saints, who dominated possession.

Rob McMillan's score gave Bristol hope at the start of the second half, but they rarely tested the try line.

Replacement Northampton hooker Mike Haywood crossed late on as they secured a bonus-point victory.

Saints, who were beaten at home by Bath on the opening weekend, started impressively as Wales winger North scored on his first start of the season.

Fly-half Stephen Myler, also making his first start this campaign, scored 10 points in an assured performance, with his out-of-hand kicking pinning the hosts back.

Bristol, playing at their fully renovated 27,000-capacity home for the first time, were marginally beaten by Quins in the London Double Header last Saturday but looked out of sorts for much of the first half.

It was their first home fixture in the Premiership since 2009 after their promotion from the Championship last season.

Bristol rugby director Andy Robinson: "We were schooled on how to play rugby in that first half, particularly Premiership rugby.

"It's a very difficult juggernaut to stop once it gets a rhythm, and we found that in the first 25 minutes.

"As soon we stopped being rabbits in the headlights and we found a little bit of our rhythm, but it is about taking your opportunities, and Northampton took their chances well.

"You saw the improvement in the second half, but we can't afford to give the opposition a head start in the way that we did with Northampton today. We have got to look at how we can put pressure on the opposition."

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder: "Overall, I am pleased to get five points, particularly after last week. We needed to win today, and in the first-half we were very good.

"We needed to come here, shut the crowd up and in a way put massive doubt into Bristol's mind that they could play at this level. That was our intention.

"Bristol have got something about them. They will find it difficult - everyone knows it is tough - and I think it is the home games they have really got to focus on.

"Credit to Bristol, they came back into it and showed the spirit they've got in the second-half, but we got there in the end."

Bristol fans
Bristol fans enjoyed their first home Premiership fixture in seven years
Ashton Gate
Bristol played at the renovated Ashton Gate for the first time since it was expanded
George North
George North scored five tries for Northampton last season

Bristol: Wallace; Edwards, Hurrell, Mosses, Varndell; Pisi, Cliff; Tonga'uiha, McMillan, Cortes, Evans, Glynn, Fisher, Lam (capt), Crane.

Replacements: Brooker, Traynor, Perenise, Phillips, Robinson, Eadie, Williams, Jarvis.

Northampton Saints: Tuala; K. Pisi, G. Pisi, Burrell, North; Myler, Dickson; Waller, Hartley, Brookes, Lawes, Paterson, Wood (capt), Harrison, Picamoles.

Replacements: Haywood, Ma'afu, Hill, Dickinson, Gibson, Groom, Mallinder, Foden.

Attendance: 11,322.

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