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ULSTER 29 SAINTS 19 Groom: We finished as we mean to go on

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

While a good second half of rugby couldn’t spare the Saints defeat to Ulster, Nic Groom says it will be a mixture of works-on and build-ons as attentions turn to the start of the Aviva Premiership season.

Once they got going, the hosts were rampant at Ravenhill, Charles Piutau leading the charge as they amassed a 24-0 half-time lead.

That dominance was flipped on its head, however, when the teams re-emerged and the Saints went on to score tries through Alex Waller, Tom Collins and Juan Pablo Estelles, comfortably ‘winning’ the second period 19-5.

“There was a huge focus [at half-time] on just playing towards our standards,” Groom told SaintsTV. “Northampton is a proud team and I think we let ourselves down in the first half and maybe got a bit flustered.

“But once we settled down and focused on just doing our jobs things started to go a bit smoother.”

Despite defeat, the scrum-half added that there is still plenty of time to right the wrongs and believes you shouldn’t always read too much into results where warm-up fixtures are concerned.

“We started quite well and had them under the pump. We got into some good positions but just couldn’t quite execute and before you know it we were two tries down at the other end.

“We weren’t happy with how we started, but luckily we’ve still got another week to go away and put it right so that we start the season on the right foot.

“You could put it down to the fact that we had a few new combinations out there and that can take time to adjust to sometimes.

“The good thing about pre-season is that a loss doesn’t matter so much as long as you learn from it.”

The men in black, green and gold will be looking to put into practice what they learn on Saturday, September 3rd when their league season opens up at home against Bath. CLICK HERE to book your tickets for the big season opener!