Saints score 14 tries as stunning 90-0 win secures first home play-off semi-final since 2015

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Saints registered a stunning 90-0 win as they booked a home play-off semi-final in sensational style on Saturday afternoon.

Phil Dowson's men racked up an eye-watering 14 tries as they beat Gloucester at a jubilant cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens.

Ollie Sleightholme helped himself to a hat-trick, while Curtis Langdon and Sam Matavesi delivered doubles on a day when the majority of the home players cashed in against a rotated Cherry and Whites team.

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There were hugely popular scores for the retiring Alex Waller and departing Alex Moon before the leavers ceremony took place on the Gardens pitch.

Fraser Dingwall scored for Saints against Gloucester (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Fraser Dingwall scored for Saints against Gloucester (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Fraser Dingwall scored for Saints against Gloucester (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

It was an occasion to savour for Saints, who can now look forward to their first home play-off semi-final since they topped the regular season table for the first, and only, time, in 2015.

Saints fancied their chances of picking up the bonus-point win they needed against a Gloucester team with little to play for, and the black, green and gold came flying out of the blocks.

Dowson's men were ahead inside the first minute as they moved the ball swiftly from right to left, where George Hendy accelerated through and found George Furbank for a try inside a minute.

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Fin Smith, on his 22nd birthday, added the conversion, and Saints were well and truly up and running.

Gloucester were struggling to get out and after conceding a penalty for a deliberate knock-on close to halfway, the Cherry and Whites were submerged again.

Saints kicked to the corner and stayed patient before Alex Mitchell sent Fraser Dingwall over for the home side's second score.

Smith converted again and there was no let-up from Saints, who continued to pour forward in relentless fashion.

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After Gloucester gave away a penalty from a scrum in front of their own posts, Mitchell took a quick tap penalty and Smith sent Sleightholme over for the third score with a fine pass.

Smith made it 21-0 with the conversion, and Saints were just one try away from bagging the prized bonus point.

Saints thought they had the fourth try when Angus Scott-Young rolled over the line, but he had just knocked on in the build-up and his effort was ruled out.

It didn't take long for the home side to grab the bonus-point try though as Gloucester gave away another penalty at their own scrum to provide Saints with territory.

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Eventually, Langdon showed his strength and determination as he forced his way over the line, though Smith did miss the conversion as he saw the ball come back off the post.

At 26-0 up, Saints were cruising, knowing that if they now went on to win the game, they would have the home semi-final they wanted.

Saints were absolutely bossing the scrum battle, with Gloucester having no answer to the home pack.

The away side could not get out, and they could not stop Langdon, who again drove over from close range five minutes before the break.

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There was still time for a sixth Saints try in the first 40 minutes as Furbank found a gap and flew through it before timing the pass perfectly for Mitchell to score.

Smith converted to make it 40-0 at half-time, and the scoring started again soon after the restart, with a hugely popular figure getting Saints' seventh try.

Waller was the man to accelerate over the line following a pass from Mitchell as the Saints legend enjoyed a special moment before being replaced with tears of joy in his eyes.

Smith converted and Saints scored again soon after as Matavesi notched a try with his first touch, much to the amusement of Langdon, who had just been replaced.

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Langdon and the rest of the Saints bench laughed heartily, knowing the starting hooker had just been deprived of what would have been his hat-trick try.

Saints then took off Courtney Lawes, to another standing ovation, before Tommy Freeman flicked a lovely pass into the path of Manny Iyogun, who scored his first try for the club.

Smith converted before he was replaced by the returning Burger Odendaal, and the tries kept coming.

Moon was another hugely popular scorer in his final regular season home game for Saints, prompting cries of 'Moon' around the Gardens.

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Furbank missed the conversion but Gloucester just wanted the game to end as there was still more than 15 minutes to go and they were 73-0 down.

It kept getting worse for the Cherry and Whites as Sleightholme flew away down the right to secure his hat-trick, with Furbank adding the extras with ease.

Gloucester finally had the chance to register some points with the clock having just gone past 68 minutes, but Charlie Atkinson sent the penalty wide of the posts.

Saints scored the try of the day two minutes later as Tom James started and finished a stunning move.

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Furbank missed the conversion to leave the scores at 85-0, but Matavesi soon rumbled over from a lineout drive to spark more celebrations.

Gloucester had the chance to mount one final attack, but Saints, backed by their vociferous fans, held out, winning the ball back and booting it out to ensure they would not concede a single point.

Saints: Furbank; Hendy (Seabrook 40), Freeman, Dingwall, Sleightholme; F Smith (Odendaal 54), Mitchell (James 57); A Waller (Iyogun 47), Langdon (S Matavesi 47), Davison (Millar Mills 40); Moon, Coles (Mayanavanua 65); Lawes (c) (Graham 51), Scott-Young, Augustus.

Gloucester: Hathaway (Jones 72); Hearle, Hillman-Cooper, Reeves, Morris; Atkinson, Varney (Chapman 49); Vivas (Elrington 30 (Knight 64)), Socino (Scarfe 40), Knight (Balmain 40); Clark, Thomas; Tuisue, Ludlow (c) (Eite 40), Clement.

Referee: Ian Tempest

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