Jim Mallinder was thankful for the ‘cool head’ of kicker Stephen Myler as Saints came back from 17 points down to draw 33-33 at Gloucester.
Myler, nicknamed the ‘Iceman’ by his team-mates, kept calm to land a last-gasp conversion after Samu Manoa had scored from the back of a lineout drive.
It punctured Gloucester, who had flown into a 23-6 first-half lead through scores from Charlie Sharples and Richard Hibbard, and the assured boot of Greig Laidlaw.
And Mallinder was delighted with Myler’s composure as he celebrated becoming the Saint with the most Premiership appearances under his belt with an impressive 18-point haul.
“I thought he’d get that one,” said the director of rugby of Myler’s crucial late effort. “Both kickers kicked well. It was quite breezy out there.
“Laidlaw kicked exceptionally well in the first half and he put over a couple of conversions that pushed their lead a little bit.
Stephen kicked well and he played well. We’re fortunate to have his cool head out thereSaints boss Jim Mallinder
“Stephen kicked well and he played well. We’re fortunate to have his cool head out there.
“Stephen’s done a few of those. It was his 250th game for the club, a Premiership record for the Saints, and we’re very pleased he’s on our side.”
Two second-half tries from James Wilson, the second of which is a contender for score of the season, helped Saints claim a share of the spoils.
And all in all Mallinder was happy with the result at the end of a breathless encounter at Kingsholm.
“It was a cracking game of rugby,” he said.
“Gloucester came here, the sun was shining, the surface was hard and they came to chuck the ball around and play some rugby.
“They’re a proud team and a proud city. Their supporters get behind them.
“We probably overplayed in the first half, they defended very well, caused us to make a lot of mistakes and our kicking game wasn’t as switched on as it should be away from home.
“What pleased me is how we turned it round. We got a penalty just before half-time and got points after half-time.
“As soon as we got to within seven we knew we were in with a chance.”