After running in 11 tries against the opponents, Saints started their preseason with an impressive 50-point win against the Dragons at Franklin’s Gardens yesterday.
Lewis Ludlam, one of the many try scorers, said that the game was a good exercise for the players to go through as they get out of the gym and onto the pitch to make their final preparations ahead of the 2017/18 season.
“There’s nothing like match fitness really,” the 21-year-old back row commented.
“We’ve been back for five or six weeks now so you’d think I’d be feeling fitter but I could definitely feel my lungs out there.”
Though set to enter play at half time, Ludlam took to the field earlier than planned as Saints were trying to hold their 12-point lead while being tested by their guests. But Ludlam took it in his stride and says that you can never plan for a rugby game really, having to be ready to take on whatever comes, whenever it comes.
“I think you’ve always got to be ready to come on, you never know what’s going to happen in a game.
“I think I ended up coming on a 30 minutes which actually helped me because I think you play better if you’re not completely prepared for it.
“So really you just have to prepare yourself to come on whenever.”
Though having their lead reduced to just a score shortly after the turnaround, Saints scored seven tries in the second forty to take a strong victory and Ludlam credited that to good basic play from the team.
“There were a few new faces out there so the message was to just keep hold of the ball and do the basics well.
“I think we struggled with that a bit in the first half, especially keeping hold of the ball. In the second half, in the end we made the most of our opportunities and when we kept hold of the ball, we looked good.”
Speaking of having moved positions during the game, the young back row said that regardless of wherever Jim Mallinder and the coaches choose to play him, he’s always happy to don the black, green and gold and that to get on the scoresheet too was enjoyable.
“I’ll play wherever they put me. As long as I’m on the field, I’m happy.
“To score was pleasing. It just goes to show the team’s hard work and I was luck enough to get on the end of it. But I’m always happy to cross the whitewash.”