George Pisi put in a good shift in the Saints centres at Welford Road © Getty Images
Rugby News LEICESTER 19 SAINTS 19 Saints can take confidence away from draw, say Mallinder and Pisi
George Pisi and Jim Mallinder both admitted their frustration after seeing Saints come away from Leicester with a 19-all draw, but said that confidence can be taken from the performance at Welford Road.
At one point the visitors had a 10-point lead, with Alex Corbisiero scoring his first try for the club and Stephen Myler landing 14 points from his 100 percent performance from the kicking tee,
But Leicester can never be written off, especially at Welford Road, and Toby Flood's conversion of Ed Slater's late try ensured that the 289th edition of the East Midlands derby ended with the honours shared.
"It was a bit disappointing that we couldn't finish things off, but we've come away with a draw from Welford Road and you can't really complain," Pisi told SaintsTV. "We played quite well and used the ball a lot, and our defence was awesome. In the last 10 minutes we slacked off and if you give a team like Leicester a sniff and the momentum, especially with a crowd like that, it's tough.
"We'll take a lot of good things out of this going into the game against the French champions next week, but there's a lot to work on, too."
The result snapped Saints' eight-game losing streak against their local rivals, but Mallinder said that while he gave credit to the way Leicester fought back the visitors will look back on some opportunities in the second half that could have sealed the win.
"We were definitely frustrated," the Saints boss told BBC Radio Northampton. "For 60, 65 minutes we played some lovely rugby, and probably we'll look back at the second half and think that if we cold have taken one of those opportunities we'd probably have gone away from them and own the game.
"But you've got to give a lot of credit to Leicester as well. I thought that Toby Flood put us under quite a lot of pressure in the last 15 minutes with his attacking and kicking game.
"A draw is progress for us. We said before the game that coming up here wasn't going to be the be all and end all or going to define our season, but it would have been nice to have won.
"We're taking confidence out of all our performances and will take confidence that we've come here, in front of a hostile crowd and a place that's difficult to play, and have competed against a good Leicester team."
Saints remain on the road next week with the toughest possible Heineken Cup opener, away to Top 14 champions, Castres. But they return home for the last two weekends of October with two massive matches against the Ospreys (Sunday, October 20th) and Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens (Saturday, October 26th).
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