By Thomas Branston
Stephen Myler scored seven points on his 300th appearance helping Northampton Saints fight back to beat Gloucester 13-12 at Kingsholm on Sunday.
Billy Burns converted four penalties and two from Stephen Myler saw Gloucester lead 12-6 with seven minutes left.
David Halaifonua conceded a penalty try which Myler converted to win the match giving his side their first away win in the Aviva Premiership since September.
The Gloucester wing was ruled by the TMO to have deliberately knocked the ball on near his own try line to concede the score and was sent to the sin-bin as the hosts finished with 14 men.
George North returned to action after four weeks out and the Welsh wing completed a full 80 minutes for Saints.
Gloucester dominated the early ball and Burns gave the cherry and white’s an early lead as Saints were penalised for not rolling away at the ruck.
The South West outfit had not lost at home since their defeat to Bath back in October and had an early defensive test, but they limited the visitors to a penalty which Myler drifted wide.
With both sides struggling to find a period of possession, Billy Twelvetrees’ cross-field kick was taken well by North but he was tackled by Halaifonua to earn the hosts a five metre scrum.
Gloucester were then awarded a penalty from the resulting scrum which allowed Burns to double the lead.
Northampton were on the scoreboard just after the restart as Gloucester were penalised for a ruck infringement and Myler reduced the score to six.
Gloucester thought they had scored when Ben Morgan forced his way over the line in a mass of bodies but TMO Graham Hughes decided it wasn’t grounded.
A penalty from the resulting scrum gave Burns the chance to restore the nine point lead but he hooked his penalty well wide of the posts.
And Saints made them pay for that miss, with North claiming a cross field kick to earn field position from Myler and he converted his second penalty just before the hour mark.
Burns quickly cancelled out that effort with his fourth successful penalty of the afternoon to give his side their first points of the second half with 63 minutes played.
The game turned sour very quickly for the home side when winger Halaifonua knocked the ball on when Saints attempted to utilise a major overlap and referee Matt Carley produced a yellow card.
With review from the TMO, Carley awarded the visitors a penalty try which was converted by Myler to give Saints the lead for the first time in the match.