One point was all Saints’ needed to start 2017 off in winning ways yesterday as they took a 12-13 victory over Gloucester Rugby away from home yesterday.
Jim Mallinder said he was pleased with his side’s efforts to hold onto their narrow lead in the game’s dying minutes and that coming back from a 9-point defecit to win the game was pleasing for everyone involved.
“It was very nerve-racking,” Mallinder told SaintsTV about the final minutes of yesterday’s game at Kingsholm.
“I was just really wanting us to play or just keep defending in the right parts of the field and I think we managed to do that.
“I think when it goes to a minute or two minutes to go, we knew they probably wouldn’t kick, that they’d try to keep the ball in hand and beat us so it was important to keep 14 players in the line and not give them any silly penalties and we managed to do that.
“The message at half time was ‘let’s just keep believing, let’s just see if we can improve’.
“We were going up the hill, we elected to do that in the first half and we knew that it was a 9 or 12-point advantage with that hill.
“We turned round and we were a little bit disappointed with a few aspects of our play but in the second half I thought we played some good field position and put them under pressure.
“It was tough and I think they’ve got a good scrum that put us under a bit of pressure as well.
“That was always going to be important but the lineout was good for us, we lost a couple but in conditions like that that’s to be expected. It was really, really pleasing to win that last line out to close the game out.”
With Stephen Myler reaching his 300th game at the club yesterday, Mallinder praised the fly-half’s achievement.
“Well it’s an absolutely tremendous achievement and I think in this professional era for one player to stay at a club and play 300 games is absolutely fantastic.
“He marshals the team around and it’s tremendous that we’ve got him at the club.”
The Saints host Bristol in a big match on Saturday afternoon with implications throughout the Aviva Premiership. Make your voice count at Franklin’s Gardens by CLICKING HERE and following the straightforward instructions. Groups of tickets are available in Blocks 8, 15, 16 and 23, as well as the lower tier of the Elite Insurance Stand and the Barwell Stand, and by using Print@Home supporters can save themselves the admin fees, too!