Northampton Saints’ director of rugby Chris Boyd insists he is happy with a return of three wins from four Gallagher Premiership matches so far, despite watching his side slip to their first defeat of the season on Saturday.
The men in Black, Green and Gold went down 22-13 to Bath Rugby at a boggy Recreation Ground, despite tries from Rory Hutchinson and Tom Wood either side of the interval.
Aled Brew’s red early in the second half for a dangerous challenge on George Furbank seemed to galvanise the hosts – who won the game with a series of scrums that not only saw them score the decisive try, but also significantly run down the clock.
But despite his frustration to not bring any points back to Franklin’s Gardens from the West County, following wins over Saracens, Worcester Warriors and Harlequins in the opening three rounds of league action, Boyd is satisfied Saints are on the right track.
“We certainly targeted three wins out of the four matches as a pretty good start."Chris Boyd
“Against Bath we were the architects of our own demise in a lot of ways,” he said. “We probably had enough opportunities in the first half to be a few points up, but we were a bit inaccurate.
“After half-time we lost control of the contact area and then chewed up a lot of time in the 12-minute period of scrums that resulted in a try – and then we just didn’t have long enough to get back into the game, which was frustrating.
“We got a message on [after the red card] that we needed to try and get the crowd out of the game, get on top and stabilise for a period of time, but instead they came back at us.
“It was tough for the young guy [Brew] because there wasn’t a lot of intent, but at the end of the day the referee followed the process, and it was the correct decision by that. We didn’t take advantage of that numerical advantage though.
“We certainly targeted three wins out of the four matches as a pretty good start – but after the victory at Sarries in Round One, we thought maybe if we played well, we could have done better than the points we’ve got. But we’re on the board and we’re going.”