Ending their unbeaten run in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign yesterday with a frustrating loss at Leicester Tigers, Saints will now have to secure victory at Franklin’s Gardens next weekend to be in with a chance of making the knock-out stages of the competition.
Mark Hopley said that while Saints showed how dangerous they can be in attack in the game’s later stages, slips in discipline and errors in the basics let Saints down in attack and allowed Leicester to earn themselves the victory in the second derby day fixture of the year.
“There are positives to take,” Hopley told BT Sport after the game yesterday.
“The way we finished the game is clearly a positive. But the way we didn’t look after the ball meant we didn’t really get an opportunity to put Leicester under enough pressure in that first half, and especially in those ten, fifteen minutes after half time.
“We didn’t look after the ball well enough, they came hard on us at the breakdown and that meant we didn’t get access into the game.
“We didn’t put any phases together and that’s because our basics weren’t good enough.
“We didn’t present the ball, we didn’t clear out, we didn’t deal with their threats.
“But we saw in that last twenty minutes that when we get quick ball and deal with that breakdown effectively, that we’re a dangerous side.”