Aviva Premiership: Ryan Lamb kicks Northampton to victory over London Welsh
Last Updated: 24/11/12 7:43pm
Northampton returned to winning ways in the Premiership with a 23-16 win over London Welsh in the the rain and mud at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.
Saints went into the game off the back of three consecutive league defeats, but Ryan Lamb was in sparkling form kicking an impressive 13 points to help them to victory and back into the play-off positions.
It was a welcome four points for Northampton, who saw backs coach Paul Grayson leave in the week. The hosts other points came from Ken Pisi's touchdown and a penalty try.
Gordon Ross was Welsh's response with three penalties and a conversion after a penalty try of their own to ensure a losing bonus point.
It was Welsh's pack who made the first impression with a penalty try as the visitors' maul trundled 25 metres from a lineout before it was hauled down under the posts. Referee David Rose awarded a penalty and sent Saints number GJ Van Velze to the sin-bin.
Lamb hit back with a calmly taken drop goal, but Ross restored their seven-point lead after a Welsh lineout drive drew a penalty.
The crowd and Saints were soon alive in dreadful conditions as the home pack hit back with a retaliatory drive that almost galloped into the Exiles 22 before Franck Montanella brought it down and was sin-binned.
The visitors succumbed to the inevitable as they conceded a penalty try and Lamb drew Northampton level.
Welsh were back at 15 players for barely a few minutes when they had a second player binned after Dan Caprice took out Jamie Elliott as the Northampton wing caught a high, hanging kick.
Saints took advantage with Lamb's vision giving them a second try. His crossfield kick bounced perfectly into the arms of George Pisi to score in the corner and Lamb converted to give Saints a 17-10 lead two minutes before half-time.
Lamb added three more points five minutes into what proved to be a dire second half, although Ross soon wiped that out after Saints' lineout lost another throw on the visitors' 10m line.
The hosts ended the game with a huge maul, with the visitors lucky to concede just three points after a 20m lineout drive.
With seven minutes to go Ross landed a 35m penalty to give the visitors a deserved losing bonus point.