Mallinder hails two-try Horne after Saints see off London Irish

Jim Mallinder masterminded a third successive Saints win (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Jim Mallinder masterminded a third successive Saints win (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder hailed 'tough as nails' Rob Horne after the Australian centre starred in Saints' demoltion job at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Horne scored two of the six tries in a 40-25 success against newly-promoted London Irish.

Nic Groom, who finished off a fantastic team effort, Mike Haywood, George North and Cobus Reinach also registered to help Saints move up to third in the Aviva Premiership.

But it was Horne, a summer recruit from Super Rugby side the Waratahs, who hogged the headlines, with his two scores packed with pace and power.

And Mallinder said: "Rob was outstanding. He is tough as nails.

"His carrying for his two tries... he was always going to score them. He saw the line and he wasn't going to be stopped.

"He's just given us that little bit of composure in defence, but also the punch when he needs to make the tackle.

"I'm really, really pleased with him today.

"It was probably the best game he's had in a Saints shirt."

Saints have now won three successive matches since their opening-day defeat to Saracens at Twickenham.

And on the win at Irish, Mallinder added: "It was a little bit end to end and I don't think we could ever relax, but it was good to score 40 points away from home and get five points.

"The start was just what we talked about, being direct, being physical, two cracking tries, one from counter-attack and Rob Horne's finish was pleasing.

"Our scramble defence was good, but we did help them with a little bit of loose passing in the second half.

"They kept battling for 80 minutes so that's credit to them.

"We were a bit loose at times, a bit guilty of overplaying but some of our attacking play led to some good tries so you don't really want to stop that natural instinct of playing."