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Tom Vickers’ Saints view and player ratings: Lamb shines in ugly win

PUTTING THE BOOT IN - Ryan Lamb enjoyed his best game of the season (Picture: Linda Dawson)

PUTTING THE BOOT IN - Ryan Lamb enjoyed his best game of the season (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Saints ended their Premiership losing streak - but they certainly didn’t do it in style.

They gritted their teeth and ground to victory against London Welsh, who will enjoy the sweet taste of survival if they continue to put in this sort of effort.

One flash of brilliance from the boot of fly-half Ryan Lamb played a big part in the win, as he teed up Ken Pisi for the game’s only try from open play.

It was a moment of brilliance from the mercurial No.10, who has the ability to wave his wand and cast a spell over the opposition.

This was one of his better days, perhaps his best day of the season so far.

And he was a beacon of creativity in what was a real forwards battle.

Saints just about edged it up front, and the gap between the sides was illustrated in the final score.

It was just about a fair result, but Northampton, who had gone 10-3 down, will have to find their feet quicker at Sale next week.

The Premiership’s bottom side will be hurting after eight defeats from nine league games this season and the knives will be out.

So there’s plenty for Saints to work on ahead of that clash but the key thing, like at Dragons six days earlier, was the win that further banishes the October and early November blip.

It doesn’t matter how you win games, as long as you do.

And they got the four points from this one by sticking to their task and retaining determination in defence.

It wasn’t pretty, but every team needs an ugly win now and again.

And, barring the piece of brilliance from Lamb, this was just that for Saints.

Ratings

TOM MAY

Kicked too much when keeping the ball in hand would have been the better option and was eventually replaced by the returning Stephen Myler... 5

KEN PISI

Scored the only try of the game from open play, collecting Ryan Lamb’s fine kick well, which was no easy task in tricky conditions... 6

DOM WALDOUCK

Didn’t notice the centre too much as both sides struggled to string phases of play together... 5

LUTHER BURRELL

Similar to Waldouck. Tried to make inroads but the majority of the work was done by the forwards in a gritty game... 5

JAMIE ELLIOTT

Showed bravery after being hit high by Dan Caprice. The wing shrugged it off, got up and collected another high ball. Made a fine covering challenge, too... 6

RYAN LAMB

Always divides opinion but on this occasion he was on his mettle. Maybe kicked from hand a few times too many, but pulled the strings and was key in his side’s win... 8

MARTIN ROBERTS

Spent most of the game cajolling the Saints pack as they pressed their Welsh opponents in a tough encounter... 6

SOANE TONGA’UIHA

Was back in the side and straight back into a real battle as Saints scrapped it out up front against a strong Welsh pack... 6

MIKE HAYWOOD

Lineout throwing was again a concern as he failed to find his target on a number of occasions. Something to work on this week... 5

BRIAN MUJATI

His fight with Welsh loosehead Franck Montanella was a key feature of the game and it was a pretty even battle... 6

SAMU MANOA

Made some standard bone-crunching hits and really asserted himself to build on his superb showing in the win against the Dragons last weekend... 7

COURTNEY LAWES

Revelled in the physical nature of the game and, like Manoa, got in some great hits. A good return from the lock... 6

CALUM CLARK

Didn’t have as much influence as in the past few games, but was still a key man for his side... 6

PHIL DOWSON

Got involved in a couple of little scuffles, showing his passion for the cause, and set the standard for his team-mates to follow... 6

GERRIT-JAN VAN VELZE

Received a third yellow card in Saints colours, paying the price for giving away a couple of penalties. Still learning... 5

Replacements on for more than 20 minutes

PAUL DORAN-JONES (on for Brian Mujati 59)

Must have been desperate to get stuck into the war between the packs and played his part as Saints looked to keep control late on... 5

MARK SORENSON (on for Courtney Lawes 59)

Didn’t have a major say in the end result but is a steadying influence on the side from the bench... 5

 

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