Mallinder labels Saints’ lack of discipline ‘ridiculous’

Jim Mallinder (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Jim Mallinder (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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Jim Mallinder labelled Saints’ lack of discipline ‘ridiculous’ after Dylan Hartley was dismissed in Friday’s humbling 37-10 defeat to Leinster at Franklin’s Gardens.

The England skipper added his name to a list of shame that also includes Kieran Brookes and Calum Clark, who were already suspended.

Hartley was sent off just six minutes into his return to action for his club, having captained his country to victory against Australia last Saturday.

That was his 13th win in as many matches since taking over the England captaincy, but his Saints comeback didn’t last long.

And his team, who were 20-10 down when Hartley swung an arm into the face of Leinster flanker Sean O’Brien, went on to lose 37-10, conceding five tries in the process.

“I don’t really need to talk about my reaction, it’s about what it’s done to the team,” said Mallinder when asked about Hartley’s dismissal.

“Players don’t do it on purpose, but you’ve got to be so careful now.

“We’ve spoken about it because over the past few weeks we’ve had our disciplinary issues and it’s come back to haunt us.”

Mallinder added: “When you have your international players come back, you want them to play and perform for you.

“Mikey Haywood has done a fantastic job, but we want these (international) players to play well for us and unfortunately now Dylan will be unavailable, which is a massive blow for us.

“Things do occur, but they’re happening too much to us. It’s ridiculous, all that’s gone on.”

Saints had spoken about starting well, but they found themselves 7-0 down inside two minutes.

They went 10-0 behind before drawing level early in the second period, with Ahsee Tuala scoring, but Leinster got back in front and rubbed Saints’ noses in it after Hartley’s red.

“We talked about getting off to a flying start, but they’re a quality side and they showed that tonight,” Mallinder said.

“We didn’t come out of the blocks as well as we wanted to and they got points up, but we came into the game pretty well.

“Then we conceded and to go down to 14 men meant we really were struggling.”

Saints will now head to Dublin next Saturday sitting bottom of Pool 4, seven points behind Leinster with three games to go.