Dan knows Saints must take Big strides during crucial Christmas period

Dan Biggar knows Saints still have plenty to play for at home and abroad in the coming weeks.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 7:00 am
Dan Biggar on the charge at the Aviva Stadium

But the Wales star has warned that he and his team-mates must be much better if they are to remain on track in the Gallagher Premiership and Champions Cup.

Saints are top of the Premiership ahead of Saturday's tricky trip to Sale Sharks.

And they are still in contention in the Champions Cup, despite suffering heavy back-to-back defeats to Leinster during the past two weeks.

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Dan Biggar started and scored for Saints at Leinster on Saturday

If Saints can beat Benetton and Lyon in January, they still stand a good chance of making the quarter-finals as one of three best runners-up.

But Biggar knows there must be big strides taken by Saints in the weeks to come, starting at the AJ Bell Stadium this weekend.

"There was plenty of character (in Dublin on Saturday) but we're a far better team than just saying we showed some character," Biggar said.

"We shouldn't be patting ourselves on the back for that because it's an absolute minimum that we should be giving every week.

"What we lacked in that first 20 minutes was any sort of intensity to our game, any sort of physicality and any sort of sharpness.

"It's just really disappointing because it was a fabulous setting, a big crowd against probably the form team in Europe at the moment.

"As good as they are and as well coached as they are, we probably just let them dominate us too easily and that's disappointing.

"It's very much a learning curve for a young team we had out there, but we've got to learn pretty quick.

"We know we need to be a lot better over the next few weeks to pick up some results and continue our really good start to the season.

"Minus these two games, we've had such an exciting start with plenty of guys playing some good rugby.

"But the past couple of weeks is a bit of a leveller for us and if we were getting carried away with ourselves, that's been brought down a little bit.

"We've got a lot to play for this season, even in this pool.

"If we can get nine or 10 points out of the last two games, we're in with a great shout of a best runners-up spot.

"There are loads of positives in our season but Saturday was a bit of a disappointment in terms of letting ourselves down and letting the club down in that first 25 minutes by not fronting up as much as we'd have liked."

Saints have won four of their five Premiership games this season, with a defeat at Bath the only blot on the copybook.

But trips to Sale are always far from easy.

And Biggar said: "You look at the league at the moment and there's absolutely no game you can think is a banker.

"We're going to have to play much better than we did in the first 25 minutes on Saturday.

"We obviously gave a few boys some time to recharge the batteries back at home and hopefully they'll come in and make a difference this week.

"We haven't become the worst team in the world and it's a great job we haven't got to play Leinster every week.

"We've played a really good team so we can't be too disheartened but we need to learn that this is the standard you need to reach if you want to be in amongst the elite.

"It's where we want to be, we're probably not quite there at the minute and we know we need to be better than we were on Saturday."