x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Ashton scores twice as Saints go marching on

Northampton fought back from a 10-point deficit to record a maximum five-point Heineken Cup victory over Treviso.

Northampton fought back from a 10-point deficit to record a maximum five-point Heineken Cup victory over Treviso. The Italian side, who recorded a shock win over Perpignan earlier in the tournament, were 13-3 ahead after 34 minutes with Benjamin Varmaak scoring a try and fly-half Marius Goosen kicking two drop-goals. But Saints hit back, Ben Foden scoring just before half-time while Joe Ansbro added another just after the break.

Chris Ashton then crossed twice in seven minutes to seal an important 30-18 Pool One victory. The Ospreys hit top spot in Pool Three with a convincing bonus-point triumph over Viadana. The Welsh region grabbed maximum points inside 33 minutes after first-half tries for Alun Wyn Jones, Nikki Walker, Jerry Collins and Ricky Januarie. The visitors kept their foot on the accelerator as Richard Hibbard (two), Tommy Bowe and Gareth Owen scored after the interval.

Gavin Quinnell crossed for the hosts on the hour mark but it proved scant consolation for the Italian minnows, who lost 62-7. Ulster inflicted a first Heineken Cup defeat of the campaign on Stade Francais in a 23-13 win that throws qualification from Pool Four potentially wide open with both sides due to meet again next weekend in Brussels. Tries in either half from Nigel Brady and Simon Danielli, allied to 13 points from the boot of Ian Humphreys and some aggressive defensive work, all of which saw Stade captain, Rodrigo Roncero lose his composure long before the end, sets up next weekend's clash as potentially crucial to the outcome of the pool.

* PA