Mallinder not giving up Champions Cup hope after Saints' defeat at Clermont

Jim Mallinder saw his side beaten at Stade Marcel Michelin (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Jim Mallinder saw his side beaten at Stade Marcel Michelin (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder insists it's not game over for Saints in Europe this season, despite their defeat to Clermont Auvergne on Saturday.

Mallinder's men were beaten 24-7 at Stade Marcel Michelin as their hosts picked up a bonus-point Champions Cup victory.

Saints only had a Christian Day try and a Harry Mallinder conversion to show for their efforts after dominating possession for long periods of the match.

They remain bottom of Pool 2 without a point to their name ahead of December's double-header against Ospreys.

But Mallinder said: "It's never game over. We've lost two but there's plenty for us to play for in the season.

"We're disappointed with the result but there were certain aspects of our performance that were good.

"We attacked well and we certainly need to learn to take our chances when we get into the opposition 22.

"We look at our performance and there were certain parts of that game that we did well and we're going to take that into next week and the rest of the season."

Saints were hit by two yellow cards in their defeat to Clermont, with Dylan Hartley and Kieran Brookes sin binned.

Hartley was punished for a swinging arm at a ruck, while Brookes spent 10 minutes off the field for an offence at the scrum.

On the Hartley incident, Mallinder said: "When you come to a place like this in top level rugby, you need to be physical in your clear-outs, but you need to stay on your feet. You can't go
diving off your feet and I think Dylan needed to stay up there rather than going on the ground.

"There was no intention there, it was just clear he should have stayed on his feet.

When asked if the sin-binning was a little harsh, Mallinder replied: "I think probably."