West happy with how Saints have recovered since Saracens 'blip'

Dorian West is confident Saints will front up against Saracens (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Dorian West is confident Saints will front up against Saracens (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Dorian West believes Saints' opening-day drubbing at the hands of Saracens was 'just a blip'.

And the forwards coach is hopeful that his team will show what they are made of against the European champions at Franklin's Gardens on Sunday evening (kick-off 5.30pm).

Saracens romped to a 55-24 win against Saints on September 2, scoring nine tries in the Twickenham evisceration.

But Saints have bounced back by winning four of their past five matches and they will be desperate to get their Champions Cup campaign off to a flyer this weekend.

"It took a few days to mull over what had happened (at Twickenham) and there were some easy answers at the end of it," West said.

"We were shell-shocked.

"They seemed to take every chance we gave them, we fell off things and we weren't quite there, for whatever reason.

"We were pretty comfortable with our pre-season. We thought we'd done well against Glasgow and Ulster and thought we were in a good place.

"It's the reality of playing against a really good side, the European champions, and physically on the day we weren't quite right, mentally we weren't quite right.

"Since then, we've rectified a lot of that and played quite well."

So did West ever doubt the players at his disposal in the aftermath of the Saracens shocker?

"I wouldn't say it rocked my belief," he said. "It's always an indication of where you are and what you've got to work on, but it was just a blip.

"In the following weeks, we fronted up against big sides like Leicester and Bath.

"Our set piece was really good, we were physical and we won some games convincingly.

"It was just a one-off, I think."

This weekend's clash will see Saints hooker Dylan Hartley come up against England rival Jamie George.

And West said: "The only thing Dylan has got to prove is that he's a good player.

"I've spoken to Dylan a lot this week and it's not about what he does against Jamie George, it's about being part of the team and making your team the best it can be.

"I know he's fully focused.

"He did some really good things last weekend and I've been really pleased with him in training this week.

"He's in a good place."