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By Numbers: Northampton Saints In The Premiership

When Northampton Saints won the Premiership for the first time in 2014, it was the just reward for a side that had totally rebuilt itself after being relegated in 2007, with coaches Jim Mallinder and Dorian West at the heart of its transition from erstwhile chumps to deserving champions. We take an in-depth look at the statistics from Saints’ time in the Premiership.

Team Records

Biggest win: On 10th May 2014, Northampton put 74 points on Wasps with the visitors scoring through two unconverted tries and a penalty. Saints put 11 tries on the double Heineken Cup winners including five-pointers from George North (20, 63), Phil Dowson (24, 78), Stephen Myler (27), Luther Burrell (38), Lee Dickson (42, 60), Ben Foden (54), Ken Pisi (67), and Tom Stephenson (74). Stephen Myler helped himself to three conversions and a penalty while James Wilson slotted over a further five conversions.

When one thinks about how well Wasps went last season and how mediocre Saints were, it shows just how much and how often teams in the Premiership can have peaks and troughs in terms of performances.

Most tries: Saints’ 11-try win over Wasps is still the most number of tries that have ever scored in one Premiership game, although they did put nine tries past Newcastle Falcons on 27th March 1999. There have also been five games where the Saints have scored eight tries, the most recent of which was a 53 – 6 hammering of Gloucester in September 2014.

Most penalty goals: Saints have scored seven penalties in four games across their Premiership history, the first way back in 1997 against Richmond and the last in 2012 against the Sharks.

Saints also scored seven in a 26 – 21 defeat at Welford Road back in 2000, with Paul Grayson’s accurate boot not enough to see them past the three try-scoring Tigers. Northampton scored six penalties in a 35 – 25 defeat to the same opposition at the same ground in 1998 and five in a 25 – 6 win at Franklins’ Gardens in October 1997.

Most consecutive games without defeat: In their Premiership trophy-winning season of 2013-2014 Saints went 13 games without feeling the sting of a loss. That is quite an impressive run for Northampton given their next best string of results is nine without defeat back in 1999 to 2000.

Most consecutive games without a win: Between September and November 2004 Saints went nine games without a win, an early warning sign of the rot that was to set in before their relegation several seasons later.

Most wins in a season: Northampton won 19 of their 26 games in the 1998/99 season, but 2013/2014 witnessed 18 wins and 2 draws, meaning Saints had a winning percentage of 79.16% that year, their highest to date.

Player Records

Most matches: Stephen Myler has played 174 times for Saints in the Premiership, starting 141 of those matches. Lee Dickson is in second place on 159 appearances and  former wing Ben Cohen in third on 147 Рjoint with fullback Bruce Reihana.

Most tries: Ben Cohen scored 50 tries in 147 appearances for the Saints, although former Saint Chris Ashton earnt himself 33 from 51 games, highlighting his qualities as a finisher. Ben Foden is in third place with 30 from 130 appearances and Reihana with 30 with 147.

Most points in a season: Fly-half Myler scored 245 points in 2013/2014 (1 try, 54 conversions, 44 penalties), only just scraping past Shane Drahm’s total of 243 points from 2003/2004 (5 tries, 40 conversions, 46 penalties). Paul Grayson follows in third with 238 points in 2001/2002.

Most points in a match: World Cup winner Paul Grayson takes up eight of the top ten spots in terms of points scored in a match, showcasing his tremendous worth to his club. His record of 26 points against London Irish on 13th December 1997 is yet to be beaten, with scrum-half Matt Dawson in third place with 22 against Newcastle from 1999 and Shane Drahm with 22 against Sale back in 2003.

Highest percentage of matches won: Former prop Salesi Ma’afu – who left the club to head for Toulon but has now found himself at Cardiff Blues after a conviction for assault saw him part way with the French giants – won 29 of the 39 games he played for the Saints, giving him a winning percentage of 76.92%. Young English centre Tom Stephenson has won 17 of the 23 matches he has featured in (76.08%). However, Bath-bound scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i won 38 of the 54 matches he played for Saints, giving him a winning percentage of 72%. He will be sorely missed by the club.

Local derby statistic: Ben Foden has scored the most tries against bitter rivals Leicester Tigers, having crossed the line on four occasions in fourteen appearances.

Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.