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Wasps humiliated in 11-try Saints destruction
WASPS were on a hiding to nothing at Franklin's Gardens today and they duly got their comeuppance as a near full-strength Northampton Saints side demolished them 73-13 to register the biggest victory of the Premiership season.
Wasps actually led 13-0 at one stage, but by the end Northampton were ripping them to pieces with tries from nearly every attack.
They got 11 in the end and whether this crushing loss was a price worth paying will depend on Wasps' result in the European play-off against Stade Francais.
Dai Young had that double header at the forefront of his mind when picking a side with just three regular starters, but the replacements were made to look shambolic by a determined Saints team chasing a result that would wrap up a home semi-final.
George North, Luther Burrell, Ben Foden, Stephen Myler and Lee Dickson all started in a backs division bristling with class, and the inevitable result was total carnage.
It was slow arriving though, and after 20 minutes a huge shock was unfolding.
Wasps are 13-0 ahead, they had breached Saints' line twice and the home side had hardly escaped their own half.
Charlie Davies made the first inroads when he went over in the fifth minute after a charge down, and ten minutes later Tom Varndell followed suit when Foden's attempted kick through on half way was blocked by the considerable bulk of Nathan Hughes.
Joe Carlisle missed both conversions, but a penalty in between did contribute to the early unexpected scoreline.
From then on though, common sense prevailed as Saints reeled in and then overtook Wasps with three tries in ten minutes.
North, Phil Dowson and Myler all went over in a frantic, game-changing burst and the job was done for Northampton when Burrell added the try bonus just before the interval.
That made it 27-13, but the Saints tsunami was just gathering force and in the second half Wasps were completely swept away.
Dickson completed his hat-trick with tries after 43 and 61 minutes, Foden, Dowson and North added their second scores of the afternoon while George Pisi and Tom Stephenson both came off the bench to touch down in a game that was an utter embarrassment for the black and golds.
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