After a gritty performance against Montpellier Herault in the South of France despite being unable to qualify for the next rounds of the European Champions Cup, Saints return to the Gardens this week to prepare to travel to local rivals Leicester Tigers for an Anglo-Welsh Cup derby day.
Skipper for the day, Lee Dickson, said that he was proud of the side’s performance in Montpellier despite the result and that even though there were some “what-ifs”, Saints should take the positives from that game going forwards.
“I said straight after the game how proud I was of the team,” Dickson told SaintsTV after the game on Friday night.
“We had quite a young team out there with a few inexperienced players but how they played today was outstanding; some of them were like men possessed.
“We knew it was a big pack, a big set of forwards but every man fronted up. There are some what-ifs, like just before half time we had a very good line-break but dropped the ball and after half time when we thought George had scored.
“But they’re all what-ifs. They finished their tries and it was a good game of rugby so I can’t be more proud of the people in the changing room right now.
“Going forward now, that’s how we want to play rugby. We want to play with smiles on our faces, we want to play running rugby.
“We’ve got a mobile pack and good back lines, I think JJ stood flat and distributed well, and if we get the ball to the likes of George North, or Juan’s hands or Ace, that’s the kind of rugby we want to play.
“As the weather gets a bit better and the pitches get a bit firmer, we want to be playing running rugby.”
Dickson added that while the good performance does not make up for the loss, they need to turn the ambition they showed against Montpellier into strong performances in the upcoming Anglo-Welsh Cup.
“We lost and that’s always disappointing. No one in that changing room likes losing so obviously the boys are disappointed that we lost.
“But we’ve got to take the positives in that we’ve come away from home, where people had written us off and thought it might have been fifty points, and we’ve showed today how good we are.
“I said in the changing room just now that the group of players in there now are going to lead for the next two weeks into this Anglo-Welsh Cup.
“We’re going to go full bore at this Cup and we want to win it.”