Northampton Saints 50 Scarlets 10: Tom Vickers' review and player ratings

Harry Mallinder scored for Saints against Scarlets (pictures: Sharon Lucey)
Harry Mallinder scored for Saints against Scarlets (pictures: Sharon Lucey)

Eight tries, no serious injuries and still a chance of reaching the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-finals.

Saints secured everything they set out to achieve against Scarlets on Friday night.

Harry Mallinder impressed for Saints

Harry Mallinder impressed for Saints

They had to overcome a slow start to do it, as they have on several occasions at Franklin's Gardens this season.

But in the end, it was job done. And in comprehensive fashion.

There were confidence boosting tries for the backs, including Ben Foden, who looked like a man on the mission on the wing, and Ken Pisi on the other side of the field.

And there was also a nice moment, or two, for 20-year-old hooker James Fish, who scored his first Saints try and quickly followed it with his second.

Ken Pisi was on the scoresheet

Ken Pisi was on the scoresheet

It was a night to remember for the youngster and the sight of Saints scoring tries freely rewarded the hardy supporters who turned out for this one.

A Friday night game, in the February cold, with the match televised meant it would have been very easy for fans to stay at home.

But plenty still turned up to watch them team cruise past a mix-and-match Scarlets side.

The margin of victory was no surprise given the strength of the teams fielded.

Stephen Myler was on hand to help Ken Pisi celebrate

Stephen Myler was on hand to help Ken Pisi celebrate

Nevertheless, you can never sniff at putting a half-century on a team.

And with the likes of Mike Haywood, Stephen Myler and Harry Mallinder - men so crucial in the coming weeks - getting through the game without an injury, it was a satisfactory night.

Saints have bigger battles to fight.

And perhaps the most important comes at Bath on Friday night, where Jim Mallinder's men will meet a team who are a few notches up from the one they beat here.

But a good work-out and an injury-free win is a good way to warm-up.

And now Saints need to show up big style at The Rec.

First, they will sit back and support local rivals Leicester Tigers - how strange that is to write - at Allianz Park on Sunday.

If the Tigers can stop Saracens from earning a trademark win on home turf, Saints will be in the Anglo-Welsh Cup last four.

It is a competition they always enjoy and one they will want to still be in come March.

But whatever the outcome at Saracens, they can at least know they did their bit.

They overcame the disappointing derby-day defeat at Leicester, got back on the horse and sent the Scarlets side packing.

It was all too easy in the end, but Saints supporters have waited a while to rub salt in the wounds of an opposition side.

It could almost be dubbed the 'reverse Leinster', as Saints ran in try after try against a beleaguered team, just the as Irish team had done to them in Dublin in December.

And Saints will now hope they can keep that feel-good vibe going next Friday.

How they rated...


Has managed to gain plenty of ground in recent weeks, showing good belief in himself and putting opposition defences under pressure... 7


Has garnered some confidence during the past two weeks and put the finishing touches to a backs move here... 7


Looks a tidy player and although he had a difficult time defensively during the first half, his ability going forward was not in doubt... 7


A really impressive attacking display from the youngster, who was showboating with a couple of eye-catching offloads before grabbing a score... 8


The skipper played that well that some fans on the terrace gave him his own chant, and it was richly deserved in an all-action display... 8


His cross-field kick for Foden's second score was a thing of beauty and although a couple of place kicks went awry, he was good in open play... 8


His kicking game was good once again as he pinned Scarlets back a couple of times, and he was able to get some quick ball... 7


Took a bit of a knock in the second half as he continually toiled for the team and did little wrong overall... 7


Never gives less than 100 per cent and he enjoyed this, playing his part in a decent forward effort before coming off as Saints saved him for next week... 7


Caused a few problems for Scarlets in the scrum and wasn't shy in open play, pushing on at every opportunity... 7


Carried the fight well and will have been pleased with how he staked his claim for a starting place in the Premiership in the weeks to come... 7


The experienced lock was assured once again, helping the marshall some big Saints forward drives... 7


Grabbed a really good try and put in another big shift in the Saints back row, once again displaying his worth as he also disrupted the Scarlets set piece... 8


A determined display from the youngster, who is getting plenty of chances of late and clearly has plenty of potential... 7


Put in plenty of work as he did at Leicester during the previous weekend and his comeback is a real positive for Saints... 7

Replacements (who played more than 20 minutes)

JAMES FISH (for Haywood 50)

What a cameo for the young hooker, who will have loved this, coming into the action and scoring his first two tries for Saints... 7

PAUL HILL (for Brookes 50)

Always puts in everything he has when he comes off the bench and this was no different as Saints pushed on... 6

DAVID RIBBANS (for Dickinson 57)

A nice home debut for the lock as he came into the action at a time when Saints had got the job done... 6

LEE DICKSON (for Groom 57)

A good game for a scrum-half to get involved in as Saints were on the front foot and hunting for more tries... 6

RORY HUTCHINSON (for Mallinder 57)

The youngster will hope to have a key role to play due to recent injuries and he looked sharp here... 6