Despite tries from Louis Picamoles, Mikey Haywood, Tom Wood and JJ Hanrahan in yesterday’s Aviva Premiership round 13 fixture, Saints guests Bristol kept the home side on their toes throughout and pushed them all the way before a late Harry Mallinder drop goal secured Saints the win.
The Saints captain, Wood, commented that the struggles the club have gone through in recent weeks are still in the players’ minds but to reach the target of three wins has boosted their confidence but credited Bristol’s impressive performance as they only fell six points short of Saints target yesterday.
“I think that was pretty big for us,” Wood told PremiershipRugby.com after yesterday’s bonus point win.
“We were just sat in the changing rooms and part of me is a bit frustrated because in years gone by we would have been thinking about pulling away and running away with that game in the second half and today that just didn’t quite happen for us.
“But I think we have to give credit to Bristol, they’re a much-improved outfit, they caused us all sorts of problems today, they never let us get away from them and the game was in the balance for the most part. So massive credit to them. They’re going to cause a lot of problems for teams this year, I’m sure.
“It was very testing. I think we’ve not quite hit our straps this year, we’ve not quite been the Saints of old and we’ve had to muddle through these last few weeks.
“We were in a dark place three weeks ago but we’ve galvanised and we set ourselves this three-week target, we’ve achieve our minimum requirement and we’re slowly building some confidence and getting our game going again.
“So to be out there today at home, in front of your home supporters and pull through in a game like that that was tooth and nail, back and forward on occasions, is really pleasing for us.”