European Rugby Challenge Cup: Northampton Saints 48-14 Dragons

Dan Biggar
Dan Biggar played more than 200 games for Ospreys over an 11-year period before moving to Northampton this summer
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Northampton: (19) 48
Tries: Burrell 2, Ratuniyarawa, Fish, Naiyaravoro 2, Mitchell, Sleightholme Cons: Biggar 4
Dragons: (0) 14
Tries: Warren, Cudd Cons: Lewis 2

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar kicked eight points as he helped Northampton crush Dragons 48-14 in their European Challenge Cup pool match.

Luther Burrell's first-minute try and scores from Api Ratuniyarawa and James Fish saw Saints boss the first half.

Adam Warren's try closed the gap, but scores from Burrell and Alex Mitchell, and two from Taqele Naiyaravoro blew the Welsh visitors away.

Dragons' Nic Cudd got a late try before Ollie Sleightholme scored an eighth.

Northampton go clear in second place in Pool One and will qualify if they win their remaining games.

Dragons are third having won just once so far, against minnows Timisoara Saracens.

Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd:

"It's a pass mark, we wanted a bonus-point victory here at home, I thought we had some good patches and some pretty average patches so it's a mixed bag, with some experimentation and some young guys in there.

"I don't think there's any correlation between what teams do in the European situation and the league. All clubs will have different philosophies on how you manipulate your squad, but the biggest focus for pretty much all (English) teams will be the Premiership, whether it's top four, top six or trying to avoid relegation."

Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman told BBC Wales Sport:

"It may seem strange, but it was an improvement on last week (losing 59-10 at home to Leinster). It's hard to admit, but we had more of the game and the score-line was harsh though they were definitely the better side.

"We probably had a better side on paper but we lost Hibbs (captain Richard Hibbard- HIA), Ollie (Griffiths- knee), Harrison Keddie (HIA) during the game. I thought the boys off the bench did pretty well but when you make a mistake against a side like Northampton, it's seven points."

Northampton Saints: Furbank; Sleightholme, Hutchinson, Burrell, Naiyaravoro; Biggar, Mitchell; Waller (capt), Fish, Franks, Ratuniyarawa, Moon, Gibson, Wood, Harrison.

Replacements: Marshall, Davis, Painter, Ribbans, Eadie, Reinach, Strachan, Kellaway.

Dragons: Amos; Howells, Warren, Dixon, Kirchner; Lewis, Knoyle; Bevington, Hibbard (capt), Fairbrother, Nansen, Evans, Keddie, Cudd, Griffiths.

Replacements: Lawrence, Jarvis, Thomas, Screech, Taylor, Benjamin, Davies, Williams.

Referee: Thomas Charabas (France).

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