Ruaraidh Britton on the Saints away trip to London Irish…
London Irish 25-40 Northampton Saints
Rob Horne’s stunning performance lifted Saints into third in the table after a dominant bonus-point win over London Irish.
The Australian centre scored his first and second tries for Northampton and assisted George North in the midst of an overwhelming display at the Madjeski Stadium, in which they attained a bonus point within just 33 minutes.
His superb solo effort opened the floodgates for the East Midlanders, who scored six tries this afternoon to end their poor away run and make it three wins from four this season.
The Exiles staged a strong comeback in the second half when Alex Lewington and Tommy Bell scored before the hour, primarily thanks to a lack in discipline and focus for the majority of the second half from Northampton.
Their efforts were short lived however, thanks to two more tries from George North and substitute Jacobus Reinach.
Saints finished with 14 men as Horne limped off after a magnificent display on his first away trip of the season, but there was high praise for the fantastic partnership England international Luther Burrell, who also left the field early after tweaking his knee.
Irish were unfortunate to miss out on a bonus point, as they could only manage three tries, despite a much improved second half display.
The loss leaves London Irish stuck in 11th place just four points above winless Worcester Warriors, with their next game seeing them travel to Newcastle, who have been the dark horse of the Premiership this season.
Saints take on Harlequins at home.
London Irish (6) 25
Try: Lewington, Bell, McNally
Con: Bell (2), Tonks
Pen: Bell (2)
Northampton Saints (26) 40
Try: Groom, Horne (2), Haywood, North, Reinach
Con: Mallinder (5)