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Mallinder: Saints need to step up performance levels'

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The Saints saw off Sale Sharks at Franklin's Gardens last Saturday, relying on seven Stephen Myler penalties and a Ryan Lamb drop-goal to earn the four league points.

But with London Irish only having lost once on home turf in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season Mallinder has said that accuracy and execution will all have to step up several notches if the positive run is to continue.


"Last Saturday was an important win for us," he said. "As much as you'd like to win with style every week sometimes you have to grind out the result and grabbing your opportunities when you can.


"This is what we did last weekend and although we need the same again in terms of taking our chances we will need to be much better in our all round performance. At times we tried to play too hard last weekend and didn't look after the ball, and we will have to control ourselves more.


"London Irish have a good home record this season, and with some powerful runners out wide like Jonathan Joseph and Sailosi Tagicakibau we will have to be alert defensively. They are very organised and as we saw here at Franklin's Gardens in September will play right until the last minute. And in Tom Homer they have one of the best goal kickers in Aviva Premiership Rugby.


"But the spirit in training has been good this week and we are feeling positive ahead of the trip to Reading."


If you can't make it to the Madejski Stadium then there are still a number of ways for you to follow the action. The Saints' official Facebook page will have the usual match blog, while the club's Twitter feed will give score updates every 10 minutes.


Meanwhile BBC Radio Northampton will have live commentary with the game also being shown on Sky Sports 2, with coverage starting at 1pm.


NORTHAMPTON SAINTS TEAM TO PLAY LONDON IRISH

Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 16

Madejski Stadium

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Kick off 1:15pm

15 Paul DIGGIN

14 Vasily ARTEMYEV

13 George PISI

12 James DOWNEY

11 Noah CATO

10 Stephen MYLER

9 Martin ROBERTS

1 Soane TONGA'UIHA

2 Andy LONG

3 Paul DORAN JONES

4 Mark SORENSON

5 Christian DAY

6 Samu MANOA

7 Calum CLARK (capt)

8 Roger WILSON


Replacements

16 Ross MCMILLAN

17 Alex WALLER

18 Brian MUJATI

19 James CRAIG

20 Ben NUTLEY

21 Ryan GLYNN

22 Ryan LAMB

23 Tom MAY