Small margins cost Saints yesterday as they travelled to Welford Road for the first Midlands derby with Leicester Tigers of the season, and a last minute penalty from the home side stole the losing bonus point from the men in black, green and gold despite their huge defensive efforts earlier in the game to keep their hosts out.
Skipper for the night, Ben Foden, said that while it was disappointing to come away empty handed, the side was happy with the step up in performance from last weekend and that there was plenty to work on in the coming week as Saints prepare for the return of the European Champions Cup and the visit of Leinster to the Gardens.
“It is disappointing to come to Welford Road and get nothing from the game,” Foden told SaintsTV after the game yesterday.
“I thought it was a game that we were very much in and probably deserved a little bit more than nothing but we know it’s a tough place to come and win.
“We needed a reaction from Newcastle last week; it was a poor performance, we knew that as a group of players and we knew that we needed to take a step forward if we were going to come here and compete with Leicester. And I thought we did that.
“I thought we showed glimpses of what we were about. I think the determination to keep them out, especially in that second half for that period of time that we were under the cosh was great.
“But we’ve got to learn; ill discipline in the first half cost us, they scored a try when Luther was in the bin and it’s disappointing but we’ve got to take the positives.
“We’ve got a big week against Leinster coming up with a short turn around because of the Friday night game and we need to start thinking about making Franklin’s a fortress again. It’s been a place that teams have come to too easily and got points from games that they shouldn’t have.
“So we’ve got to look at ourselves and try to take the positives from it. I do think it was a step forward from the Newcastle game but there’s still plenty to build on.
The full back praised Saints fight in defending their line for most of the second half but said that they needed to improve their attacking abilities if they are going to compete with big side’s like Leicester Tigers and Leinster.
“One area that we have been good at is defence, the area that we’ve struggled with is the more of the attacking stuff, the green zone as we call it, but I think we showed glimpses of it today.
“I think if we had one or two more phases, especially at the end, we would have given ourselves a chance of winning the game. Small things like one more pass and I think we score or maybe just one or two more phases to keep hold of the ball.
“We’ve got to realise how precious the ball is in that area of the field. It is disappointing but we need to look to next week and take the positives.”
Saints’ attentions are now firmly on the return of the European competition and their hosting of Leinster on Friday night and Foden said that it will be a challenge but is one that the men in black, green and gold are looking forward to.
“I think it’s a new competition, a new chapter, a new challenge.
“We’re still in it, we’ve only won one and lost one so though we were disappointed with our last performance against Castres, we’re at home this week against Leinster so hopefully that will help.
“They’re a good outfit Leinster, they’re a quality side, especially in the European Champions Cup, so we need to be on our A-game.
“But if we can get the result we’re looking for then we can hopefully get some momentum, get some confidence back in the boys and another week and we’ll be back in Dublin for the double-header.”