Boyd rues Saints' failure to take their chances in defeat to Sale

Chris Boyd was left to reflect on a game that got away after Saints suffered a gut-wrenching 22-21 defeat to Sale Sharks on Saturday afternoon.

By Tom Vickers
Saturday, 19th February 2022, 5:54 pm
Updated Saturday, 19th February 2022, 5:56 pm
Chris Boyd
Chris Boyd

The black, green and gold had more than enough possession to prevail in the second period, but they were ultimately undone by Rohan Janse van Rensburg's score 20 minutes from time.

That came from Saints' inability to deal with Sale' s kicking game, and it was the second time they were made to pay by that tactic as Arron Reed had pounced in the first half.

Boyd's side kept battling though, and they had a chance to win the game with the final kick, but George Furbank sent a tricky penalty attempt just wide of the posts in windy conditions.

It meant Sale were able celebrate a crucial Gallagher Premiership win at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens, and the Sharks have now moved above Saints, who drop to ninth.

"The games we'd lost this year we could reflect on poor performances but we'll reflect back on this game that we did some good stuff," Boyd said.

"We dominated for long periods of time and were pretty good in terms of performance, but at the end of the day, all of those things that we did better than in the previous few weeks didn't translate to a win.

"We didn't convert our pressure into points, we dropped a couple of balls and it cost us 14 points.

"That was the story of the game.

"We weren't bullied and after we didn't get our way against Leicester last Friday, one of the things we felt we needed to address was that we were up for the confronation, and we were, so that's a positive.

"When we did get go-forward, with the try Alex Coles scored before half-time, it came from four consecutive good carries and we know when we play north-south we can do okay.

"We had lots of chances we didn't convert into points.

"It was a bit of decision making and a bit of execution.

"We did cough up the ball on a couple of occasions when we shouldn't have.

"Our drive was particularly good and we got some good territory and penalties out of that.

"We had that period of time down in the corner and we had a lot of pressure on, but we went to the lineout and they ran the ball and kicked long to lose us 90 metres of territory in a heartbeat.

"That was a more crucial point in the game as oppose to not kicking the kick."

Saints could have kicked to the corner in pursuit of a bonus-point try at the end, but they opted to go for goal, with the decision ultimately not paying off.

On Furbank, who started at fly-half and largely did well, Boyd said: "He's philosophical, he knows.

"He kicked all his other kicks and it just happened to be the one at the end of the game that he missed.

"When you lose like that, you go back and think 'were there other oppotunities to kick at goal that might have had you ahead by two points rather than down by one?'.

"But most of the time, our decision making around that part of the game was okay."

Saints must now rebuild for another home game, against Exeter Chiefs, next weekend.

And Boyd said: "It doesn't get any easier.

"We knew this little block of five games with Leicester, Sale, Exeter, Gloucester and Wasps was going to be a tough block that would have a fairly big impact on our season.

"We've started with two losses out of that block of five so we're going to have to start fighting."