Glasgow Warriors 15 Northampton Saints 26: Tom Vickers’ review and player ratings

Tom Wood helped Saints scrap to a superb win at Scotstoun Stadium (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Tom Wood helped Saints scrap to a superb win at Scotstoun Stadium (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

In the bitter cold of Scotstoun Stadium, Saints produced a performance and a result to warm the hearts of their supporters.

Plenty had made the trip up to Glasgow, perhaps more in hope than expectation.

Or perhaps it was just because Glasgow is a good night out.

But whatever they came for, they were rewarded by a group of players who simply refuse to fret about reputations.

Glasgow, as the likes of Leinster and Ulster have in recent years, adopted the favourites tag for this Champions Cup clash with Saints.

And Glasgow, as the likes of Leinster and Ulster have in recent years, found themselves outplayed and outfought by Jim Mallinder’s men.

When it was said they wouldn’t get a result in Dublin, they did.

And when it was said they wouldn’t get a result in Belfast, they did.

And history repeated itself at Scotstoun.

Glasgow, the Guinness Pro12 champions, let us not forget, had won their past six matches when hosting an English side in clup rugby’s premier European competition.

Saints had suffered at their hands before, conceding a late Peter Horne try as the Warriors snatched victory in January 2013.

But then Saints needed a victory and a bonus point to progress to the quarter-finals.

This time, they just wanted to back up their opening-night success against Scarlets.

And, as it unfolded, they were to do it in some style.

Every single player who put the shirt on contributed in a positive manner.

From Alex Waller at No.1, to Ben Foden at No.15 - Saints were superb.

It was the team performance they have been craving in the formative stage of the season as the forwards stood tall and the backs broke down the Warriors wall.

It was the performance Saints fans knew their side could produce - those nights in Dublin and Belfast being the evidence.

But with those matches so far back (and a few pints drunk after them blurring the memory a little), they sought a reminder.

And they got a striking one in Glasgow on Saturday night.

Saints now sit top of Pool 3, with the potentially decisive double-header against Racing 92 to come next monnth.

That is all that could be asked from the players, but the fact they also denied Glasgow a losing bonus point on their own turf is a fantastic fillip.

Saints deserved everything they got from their trip to Scotstoun.

And they certainly earned the celebratory post-match pints.

Now they will look to take the momentum into Aviva Premiership matters and put right their lowly league standing.

But, for now, that is for another day.

First, it is about savouring a special display in Glasgow.

And savouring another one of those special European nights involving Northampton Saints.

How they rated...

BEN FODEN

Fantastic performance from the full-back, whose superb break and grubber kick created Ahsee Tuala’s crucial second try... 8

AHSEE TUALA

Maybe a slightly surprising call to start him ahead of Jamie Elliott on the wing, but he more than justified it with a superb two-try showing... 8

GEORGE PISI

Admitted earlier in the week that he had been below par this season, but he wasn’t here, putting in a strong display and scoring Saints’ first try... 8

LUTHER BURRELL

Sin-binning was a minor blot on his copybook as he produced another power-packed display... 7

GEORGE NORTH

Saw a lot of the action happen on the other wing, but he used his power when he needed to on a big night for the Saints backs... 7

STEPHEN MYLER

Controlled things superbly and kicked brilliantly from the tee, once again showing how valuable he is to the team... 8

LEE DICKSON

Came off at half-time, but had done well up to then, helping Saints keep their foot on the accelerator... 7

ALEX WALLER

Is stamping his mark on the Saints No.1 shirt and others will struggle to take it from him judging by his most recent performances... 8

MIKE HAYWOOD

One bad pass aside, the hooker once again showed his worth on a big European night, earning praise from Dorian West after one big scrum before the break... 7

KIERAN BROOKES

Was once again a key part of a big forward effort and the England man has really settled in well to life at Saints... 8

MICHAEL PATERSON

The experienced performer used all of his knowledge to help Saints stifle Glasgow, putting the squeeze on up front... 7

CHRISTIAN DAY

So, so vital to the Saints team, the lock was a huge presence throughout the game as he steered his pack around the park... 8

JAMIE GIBSON

Such a valuable asset, Leicester Tigers will bemoaning the loss of this man as he put in another assured display... 8

TOM WOOD

Has really relished the big European nights and this was another example of his grit and class... 8

SAM DICKINSON - CHRON STAR MAN

A huge figure for Saints, the No.8 covered so much ground and caused Glasgow problems with his sheer strength... 8

Replacements (who played more than 20 minutes)

KAHN FOTUALI’I (for Dickson 40)

The Samoan’s clever kicking game helped gain vital territory and he wasn’t bad with ball in hand, either... 7