Premiership: Northampton Saints beat Worcester Warriors 38-10 to regain fourth
|Northampton (28) 38|
|Tries: Naiyaravoro 2, Burrell, Wood, Marshall Cons: Biggar 5 Pen: Biggar|
|Worcester (10) 10|
|Try: Te'o Con: Weir Pen: Weir|
Northampton regained possession of the final play-off place with a comfortable bonus-point victory against Worcester.
Taqele Naiyaravoro's brace and tries from Luther Burrell and Tom Wood had Saints 28-10 ahead by half-time.
Reece Marshall added a fifth try on the hour while Dan Biggar notched 13 points in a faultless kicking display.
England centre Ben Te'o was the only Warriors player to cross as Northampton moved a point ahead of fifth-placed Harlequins with a game to play.
Saints travel to Exeter in the final round of the regular season on 18 May while Quins are at Wasps, who could still be chasing points for a top-six finish.
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It was the perfect start to Burrell's Franklin's Gardens swansong as he scored the opening try just four minutes in, bursting through Worcester's line from 30 metres out.
The former Sale and England centre, 31, will switch codes and join Super League club Warrington Wolves in July.
Naiyaravoro capped off a dominant first quarter for Saints with the second try as he capitalised on a loose pass out left to pick apart a disjointed Worcester defence.
Worcester's problems mounted when Francois Hougaard was sin-binned for killing the ball on the floor and Naiyaravoro was on the scoresheet again within minutes to pounce on the numerical advantage.
Wood then notched the bonus-point score five minutes later from close range as Northampton's ascendancy continued.
But Worcester did finish the half on a positive as Te'o crashed over from Jono Lance's offload to narrow the deficit.
But it was a scrappy second period for both sides. Marshall's score from a rolling maul was the only moment of composure as Saints registered a third successive Premiership win for the first time since September 2017.
Northampton winger Taqele Naiyaravoro told BBC Radio Northampton:
"We came out of the blocks really well in the first half and gave some guys a tremendous send off in their last home game this season.
"We spoke about Worcester a lot this week how they could be dangerous with freedom to play, so we'd prepared to take that first 20 minutes away from them.
"We did and from there it was just a case of keeping our feet on their throats and thankfully that's how it went."
Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons told BBC Hereford & Worcester:
"The first half was extremely disruptive. We had three head injury assessments, who didn't return and then we lost Francois Hougaard to the sin-bin.
"We did well to get the try towards the break and second half we shored up tremendously and the lads that came on made a difference.
"We were just on the back foot after that first half. But you've got to give credit to Northampton. They played really well and thoroughly deserved to win."
Northampton: Tuala; Collins, Hutchinson, Burrell, Naiyaravoro; Biggar, Reinach; Waller (capt), Marshall, Franks, Coles, Lawes, Gibson, Wood, Harrison.
Replacements: Ma'asi, Van Wyk, Hill, Onojaife, Ludlam, Mitchell, Francis, Pisi.
Worcester: Pennell; Humphreys, Venter, Te'o, Adams; Weir, Hougaard; Waller, Annett, Schonert, Bresler, Barry, Du Preez, Lewis, Van Velze (capt).
Replacements: Singleton, Black, Milasinovich, Fatialofa Kitchener, Hill, Heaney, Lance.
Sin-bin: Hougaard (25 mins).
Referee: Christophe Ridley.
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