With another nail-biting game at Franklin’s Gardens swung in Saints’ favour by Tom Kessell last night, the replacement scrum-half turned himself into a back row forward for the closing minutes of the game to get the win over Gloucester Rugby after scoring a try around the fringe of a driving maul and earning a turnover at the death to end the game.
“Every nine thinks he’s a back row forward don’t they?” Kessell joked with SaintsTV after the game.
“It was just enjoyable to get out there and play to be honest but it was nice to get on and get the W as well.
“It was a massive win. Especially at home as well; every W counts and we just need to keep moving forward to get the next one.”
Despite the home side having a healthy half-time lead, Gloucester pushed their hosts and snuck in front on the 60-minute mark. Kessell said that keeping the ball alive and inching back the yards was something Saints were striving to do in that second 40.
“Obviously we spoke in the changing room about the things we needed to improve at half time; we needed to keep our forwards working together, maybe keep going the same way, and then we said about the backs looking at the blind sides as well just to keep it alive and get us on the go forwards and play in the corners if it occurs and that’s how we needed to play.”
Despite earning his side the win, Kessell praised his teammates for their performances and credited the winning try to man-of-the-match Louis Picamoles even though it was his own outstretched arm that covered the final yard to the line.
“It was a credit to Louis, to be honest, the try.
“He sucked in the two players around him and then I was just lucky enough to have read him and could get the ball in behind and put my head down to try to get the score.
“So credit to Louis but for the team, that’s what we’re here to do. It doesn’t matter who scores the try as long as we win.”
With the Aviva Premiership absent for the next two weekends, Kessell says that Saints’ young guns are ready to prove themselves in the Anglo-Welsh cup as Saints face Newcastle Falcons away before retuning home to face Gloucester at home once again.
“Obviously we’ve got the England boys going away but it creates an opportunity for other boys to step up and get their chance to play and stamp their mark as to why they should be in the team.
“We’ll move forward there; we’re looking forward to it and we’re going to do as well as we can.”