Last-gasp Mullan try sees Wasps edge Saints

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Last-gasp Mullan try sees Wasps edge Saints

London (AFP) - Matt Mullan scored a dramatic overtime try as Wasps edged Northampton 32-30 in an English Premiership thriller on Sunday to safeguard their position at the top of the table.

Saints crossed five times at the Ricoh Arena, through Ben Foden, Alex Waller, George North, Ahsee Tuala and Teimana Harrison, only for victory to elude them at the death.

Elliot Daly, Christian Wade and Joe Simpson snaffled tries for Wasps and after Jamie Gibson was sin-binned late on, Mullan drove over from a line-out to make it 30-30.

Jimmy Gopperth's conversion secured victory with the final kick of the game, extending Wasps' winning home run to 17 games and inching them closer to booking a home league semi-final.

"We've got another couple of gears we can go to. But Saracens are still the team to beat," said Wasps rugby director Dai Young.

"We've just got to keep winning and get ourselves into the competition's latter stages."

Having led 30-25 as the game entered its final stages, Northampton were left kicking themselves, particularly as the usually dependable Stephen Myler squandered 11 points with the boot.

"You've got to try to control the game in the last 10 minutes and we never really managed that," said Saints boss Jim Mallinder, whose side sit seventh in the European play-off place.

"We've just got to keep pushing for wins and hopefully we can secure at least European qualification."

Saints ran in three tries to Wasps' one before half-time, but Myler's radar problems -- which saw him miss four from five goal attempts -- meant their lead at the turnaround was only 18-13.

Wasps took the lead for the first time early in the second half, Wade brilliantly chipping North en route to a touchdown that was converted by Gopperth.

After replacement Nathan Hughes had gone close, Simpson stole in for Wasps' third trip across the whitewash.

But Saints hit back, notching their bonus-point score just before the hour after North teed up full-back Tuala to stroll in.

Myler's ongoing struggles meant Wasps continued to lead 25-23, but when replacement flanker Harrison crashed over and Myler converted -- at the fifth attempt -- Saints went 30-25 up.

Wasps thought they had drawn level when Willie Le Roux went over, only for Television Match Official (TMO) David Grashoff to rule it out for some off-the-ball blocking by Joe Launchbury.

Their desperation mounting, Wasps booted three successive penalties into the corner as they tried to force a way over the line.

The pressure finally told when Gibson was sin-binned from the third penalty.

Prop Mullan claimed the equalising score, with Gopperth's kick sealing victory.