Yesterday, Saints narrow win over Gloucester ended the cherry and whites run of excellent away form after beating them at Franklin’s Gardens. For Jim Mallinder, that win was vital to the side and that, though the game was not the best show of rugby, the win will spur Saints on in the coming weeks.
“It was a good win for us,” Mallinder told SaintsTV after the game yesterday.
“Gloucester were hungry for a good win, we saw that. They had some massive desire and some of their line speed and defence was excellent, they do kick well from Laidlaw at the base of mauls, scrums, breakdowns so it was a tricky game.
“It wasn’t pretty; we didn’t play to our best but we found a way to win which is always important.”
The away side took the lead going into the last quarter and Saints replacements had to work hard to claw the game back as their guests pushed to extend their run of good form on the road.
“We came back at them at the end. I thought our bench were really, really good.
“I thought Dylan Hartley, Paul Hill, Api Ratuniyarawa in the second row, really did make a good impact and in the loose and also in the tight we managed to get some vital penalties from the set piece.”
After last week’s tough loss in the European Champions Cup, Mallinder said that his side were always going to react to that and put their bodies on the line to get the win last night.
“We saw a reaction from last week and I think we were always going to do that.
“We’ve got that type of team, I know the lads and we were really hurt as a team last week. It wasn’t a good performance but I think the lads put their bodies on the line today and it wasn’t the most accurate of performances but it’s nudged us back up the table.”
With the Autumn International period nearly upon us and the Anglo-Welsh Cup coming into contention for the next two weeks, Mallinder says it will be a good opportunity for Saints’ young guns to prove their metal and put pressure on the senior side when the Aviva Premiership restarts in a few weeks’ time.
“We’ve now got a couple of weeks in the Anglo-Welsh Cup where we can blood some of the young lads.
“They’ve been playing well for the Wanderers so we’ll give them some good game time and hopefully that will put pressure on these senior lads to put in a good performance when we meet up again in the Premiership.”