Mallinder: Saints must not be over-reliant on set piece

Jim Mallinder wants Saints to make the most of players like Luther Burrell (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Jim Mallinder wants Saints to make the most of players like Luther Burrell (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Jim Mallinder has warned Saints that they won’t simply be able to rely on a strong set piece to beat Glasgow Warriors on Saturday.

Instead, the director of rugby is looking for a complete performance that sees his side’s back division show what they are capable of at Scotstoun Stadium.

Saints overpowered Scarlets in their Champions Cup opener at Franklin’s Gardens last Saturday, with the forwards driving the home team to a 15-11 victory.

But Mallinder knows his men will need more than just muscle to beat a Warriors side who won the Guinness Pro12 last season.

“They’re a side who like to play rugby, a little bit like Scarlets, so it will be fairly similar,” said the Saints director of rugby.

“We need to be strong in our set piece, but not just rely on it.

“That’s one of the things we’ve learned: you can’t win big games just on the scrummaging or mauling, you’ve got to do more than that. You’ve got to threaten teams all over the field.

“We’ve got the players to do it.

“When you’ve got (Ben) Foden and George North, Luther Burrell and George Pisi, you’ve got to play in all different styles and that’s what we’re aspiring to do.”

Saints find themselves in a testing group, with Mallinder’s men, Scarlets and Glasgow joined in Pool 3 by a star-studded Racing 92 team.

And Mallinder said: “Scarlets away is going to be very tough and it’s a cracking pool.

“Glasgow are a great side and we’ll look forward to playing up there this week. We lost the last time we were up there (in January 2013).

“Then we’ve got Racing in December and that will be very tough.”