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Lewis Ludlam of Northampton Saints
Getty Images
Lewis Ludlam of Northampton Saints
Getty Images
Rugby

Ludlam: It’s all about the ‘top two inches’ for Saints

Skipper Lewis Ludlam insists that it is the ‘top two inches’ that are letting Northampton Saints down at the moment, after a home defeat to Saracens on Sunday afternoon.

The men in Black, Green and Gold were beaten 30-6 at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens – their second Gallagher Premiership loss in quick succession – despite going into the sheds level at the interval after enjoying the lion’s share of possession and territory in the first half.

Saracens pulled clear and then scored two tries late on to put a dent in Northampton’s top-four ambitions, ahead of a challenging trip to Kingston Park this weekend to face Newcastle Falcons.

Flanker Ludlam is adamant however that despite two frustrating league defeats over the festive period, that Saints’ squad does possess more than enough quality needed to push for a Premiership play-off place this season.

“It was a really tough result to swallow,” he said. “It’s really easy to hang your hat on effort, but it’s been the same message in the past three games, in terms of not being good enough at the top two inches.

“We haven’t switched on in periods of the game, and once a team like Sarries gain momentum on you, it’s really hard to get control back.

“The effort’s there always – there’s no shortage of effort in this team – it’s just that top two inches that are consistently letting us down at the moment.”

Lewis Ludlam

“We’re not down and out. It would be easy to roll over if we didn’t think we had the quality in this side, but there’s no shortage of that.

“It’s all there for us and the answers are all in that changing room. We’re not losing because teams have got better individuals than us, we’re just not clicking and we’re not switched on enough at the moment.

“In that sense, there’s something to be optimistic about but we’ve got to learn our lessons really quickly.”

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