Saints target two wins against top-four rivals

Jim Mallinder has urged Saints to take the positives from their defeat to Saracens as they bid to bounce back against two top-four rivals.

Monday, 19th September 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:33 pm
Jim Mallinder wants Saints to make the most of home advantage during the next two weeks (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Mallinder’s men welcome Wasps and Exeter Chiefs to Franklin’s Gardens during the next two weeks, with the Coventry-based side first up this Saturday.

Saints were beaten 27-12 at Saracens last Saturday as Alex Waller’s yellow card cost them dear.

The away side had been 12-9 up at Allianz Park, but eventually conceded two second-half tries as the Aviva Premiership champions came roaring back.

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And now Saints will look to recover by beating Wasps, who did the double over Northampton last season, this weekend.

“The first 55 minutes at Saracens I thought we were very good,” Mallinder said.

“There wasn’t loads of open rugby played, but it was into a breeze for us, as it often is at Allianz Park.

“We coped very well, our game management from Lee Dickson and Stephen Myler was very good.

“Second half, we were hoping, with the wind behind us, we could play some field position and get some more rewards.

“It’s disappointing, but we’ve got to take it that we’ve matched one of the best sides.

“We’ve got to take the positives out of it and we’ve not lost the title last Saturday.

“But we need to go forward now.

“We’ve got Wasps and Exeter at home for the next two weeks and we need to be winning those games.

“We’ve been away the past two weeks so we’re looking forward to getting back home and hopefully the crowd will get behind us.”