Northampton 42-14 Worcester
Northampton were made to work hard by a depleted Worcester side but eventually secured their playoff place with a 42-14 victory.
The Saints will travel to Harlequins in the Premiership semi-final after what turned out to be a comfortable win against a depleted Warriors outfit but they didn't have it all their own way, coming up against more resistance than expected at times. Chris Ashton opened the scoring inside five minutes with a try on his final appearance at Franklin's Gardens after England team-mate Ben Foden had cut the Worcester defence to ribbons down the left wing and provided the killer inside pass to the Saracens-bound winger. Just as most were expecting the floodgates to open for the hosts though, Josh Drauniniu levelled the scores for the visitors, exchanging passes with full-back Tom Arscott in the midfield on his way to scoring underneath the posts. And although the Saints spent large periods of the first half camped in the opposition twenty-two, it took them until just before half-time to hit the front with a hamstring injury to try-scorer Ashton midway through the half not helping their momentum either. But they kept banging on the door and, after Shaun Perry was sinbinned and Stephen Myler had knocked over a simple penalty, Foden smashed through the tackles of Alex Grove and Danny Gray to score a crucial try and make it 17-7 at the break. Myler was successful with another penalty at the start of the second half but again Worcester refused to play the role of disinterested opponents and hit back with a short-range try from Kai Horstmann after a good burst from replacement scrum-half Jonny Arr. Ryan Lamb came on for Myler soon afterwards and slotted another three points to stretch the lead to nine points and then the replacement fly-half floated a superb wide pass to George Pisi, who put the ball on a plate for winger Paul Diggin to score in the corner. And with the win almost in the bag, replacement Teimana Harrison secured a bonus point with his first ever Premiership try after James Craig had stolen a Worcester lineout just metres from the try-line. Alex Waller added a bit of extra gloss with a late pushover try as well to boost the Saints' confidence ahead of a tricky trip to Twickenham to face Harlequins in the semi-final.