Northampton Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd admits his side have their work cut out to make the Gallagher Premiership’s top four, following a home defeat to Bath on Wednesday.
The men in Black, Green and Gold went down 18-3 at Franklin’s Gardens, with Tom de Glanville and Ruaridh McConnochie crossing for the visitors after half-time, despite Northampton dominating possession and territory for extended periods of the game.
Saints just could not force their way over the tryline as Bath’s defence stayed resolute, much to the frustration of Boyd and his team of coaches.
The result leaves Northampton sixth in the Premiership standings with the play-offs just eight weeks (and six matches) away, and Boyd is looking to quickly rectify the errors that have seen his side stumble against Bath and Wasps since the restart.
“The boys tried hard, but we made too many mistakes and paid the price,” he said.
“As we got more frustrated with not being able to get our game on the field, maybe we pushed a little bit too much and needed to be a bit more patient and clinical. That allowed Bath to force some errors and we paid the price.
“We made errors and conceded tries fairly easily. We worked really hard to get some points and didn’t. We’ve got some work to do at both ends of our game, offensively and defensively.
“We’re going to have to reassess now what we put our resources into. We can’t afford to lose too many more games if we have aspirations of making the top four, otherwise it’s going to be an early finish for us.”Chris Boyd, Director of Rugby
There’s not much respite for Boyd’s side as the Premiership’s packed schedule continues this Sunday.
Saints travel to Twickenham Stoop to lock horns with Harlequins, the side directly below them in the table.
Boyd added: “I said to the boys in the shed after the game that we tried really hard, so it’s not a lack of effort – but at the end of the day, you don’t win games by trying, you win games by scoring more points than the other team.
“There are fundamental mistakes, inaccuracies, poor executions and when the pressure comes on at the moment, we’re just not able to get our game going, either defensively or offensively.
“When the space gets really tight like that, it’s pretty hard for that X factor to come out.
“You’ve got to have a process and it’s clearly not working often enough. We’re probably forcing the ball a little bit too much and we have to go back to the drawing board.
“We’ve dug a hole for ourselves and it will be interesting to see how this young group responds to that.”