Mallinder says Saints will work on attacking game after Bath blow

Jim Mallinder (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

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Jim Mallinder admits Saints have got work to do on their attacking game after a ‘very frustrating’ defeat to Bath at Franklin’s Gardens.

Mallinder’s men had gone 18-0 down, with George Ford kicking all of Bath’s points, before two late tries from debutant Nic Groom gave them a glimpse of victory.

But the away side held on for the final minute of the match to record their first win in Northampton since April, 2000.

And Mallinder was left ruing his side’s inability to take the chances that came their way during the formative stages of the match.

“It’s very frustrating,” said the Saints boss.

“It was a positive first 20 minutes, we showed a bit of attacking intent, but we were disappointed not to come away with any points and slowly we lost control of the game.

“Credit to George Ford in those conditions. They didn’t really threaten us but he did what he had to do.

“We came back in the last 10 minutes but generally it’s very disappointing.”

Saints started with Harry Mallinder at fly-half, but the 20-year-old had a difficult day in wet and windy conditions, missing two first-half penalties.

And when asked about selecting Mallinder junior ahead of Stephen Myler, Mallinder senior said: “We just want to get our balance right between our attacking and defensive game.

“We’ve got good players and we’ll be swapping and changing during the season.

“Defensively, we were very, very strong today. They didn’t create any chances and that was a positive, but attacking wise we’ve got some things to work on.”

Another blow for Saints came when Ben Foden was forced off just before half-time.

And when asked about the full-back’s injury, Mallinder said: “He sprained his ankle and he says it’s not too bad.”