Dowson discusses who impressed for Saints against Leinster

Tui Uru and Henry Taylor in action against Leinster (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Tui Uru and Henry Taylor in action against Leinster (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Phil Dowson highlighted the contributions of some of Saints' youngsters after the pre-season defeat to Leinster.

It was an all-action affair at Franklin's Gardens on Thursday night as the Irish outfit eventually ran out 34-26 winners.

Saints had come back from 22-7 at half-time to lead 26-22 late on.

But Leinster eventually got a second wind, scoring twice more to ensure they finished their pre-season campaign with a blemish-free record.

For Saints, it was a hugely productive game, which should stand them in good stead for next Saturday's Premiership Rugby Cup opener at Sale Sharks.

And forwards coach Dowson picked out a few players who he felt impressed against Leinster.

"I thought JJ (Tonks) defended really well. For a young man, he put some great shots in.

"Henry Taylor looked lively, Connor Tupai again was brilliant. He hasn't played a huge amount of rugby.

"Across the board there was a huge amount of effort and there are some things we need to fine-tune.

"First half we weren't good enough and we stood off. Second half there was much more intent and Tei (Harrison) really led from the front.

"We got ourselves back in the game, it's just unfortunate we ran out of steam with five, 10 minutes to go."

Dowson was happy to see what the Saints squad were made of after so many weeks of pre-season training.

He added: "We've had a long pre-season and we needed a game to see where we are and, as Chris (Boyd) likes to say, see who's who in the zoo.

"It gave us a really quality opposition to test ourselves against, and we did that.

"We found some areas were lacking and some were quite good.

"There are a few bits and pieces we need to pick up, but as a first hit-out it was good for the gents."