Mallinder hails attacking improvements after Saints slay Castres

Stephen Myler and Teimana Harrison were on the scoresheet for Saints (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Stephen Myler and Teimana Harrison were on the scoresheet for Saints (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Jim Mallinder believes Saints have made strides forward in their attacking game in recent weeks.

The director of rugby saw his side secure their fourth successive win by beating Castres 28-21 at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday afternoon.

It was a second successive bonus-point win for Saints following the Aviva Premiership win against Bristol a week earlier.

Two tries from Teimana Harrison and one apiece from Stephen Myler and Tom Wood proved enough to see off Castres in the Champions Cup clash.

And Mallinder said: “It was a good performance.

“In the first half we attacked with real intent, managed to get some front-foot ball and dominated that half.

“We were put under a bit of pressure at the beginning of the second half by a strong Castres side but I’m pleased with how we finished the game.

“It would have been nice if we’d have finished it off earlier.

“The good thing was that we were creating some chances and probably just not quite accurate enough on occasion in attack.

“But we’ve certainly seen some improvements over the last few weeks in terms of our attacking play.”

Castres had beaten Saints 41-7 at Stade Pierre Antoine back in October.

But Mallinder’s men managed to turn the tables on the Top 14 team at the Gardens.

And the Saints boss said: “We found when we played Castres down there they are a very good team.

“They’re in a good position in their league and they brought a quality side. They showed they could play rugby.

“They put our scrum under a lot of pressure and looked very dangerous on the counter-attack.

“We knew they would come here and hope we’d underestimate and put out a poor team without any motivation to win.

“They would then look to catch Leinster on the hop next week to sneak through the back door, but I’m pleased we didn’t allow them to do that.

“Although qualification wasn’t at stake for us today, it was very pleasing to produce a performance in front of our fans.”