Mallinder admits Saints were lucky


Published: Saturday 14th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder admitted his side were lucky to beat Aviva Premiership strugglers London Irish, labelling their accuracy in the 15-9 win as “terrible”.

London Irish were inches away from pushing over a lineout drive at the death and knocked-on with the line at their mercy as the home side clung on for a vital win.

Northampton were thankful for tries from Ken Pisi and Sam Dickinson as they struggled to get back into top gear after a month-break from the Premiership.

Mallinder said: “The positive is that we won and are still top of the league, but the downside is we didn’t play very well. We created a lot of chances, a lot of our options were good, but our accuracy was terrible.

“London Irish slowed the game down and got stuck into us, it was a gritty away performance by them and in the end we were lucky to win.

“It is always difficult at this time of year when you have had a couple of LV= Cup games, then come straight back into the Premiership and try to put the group back together.

“Some have been away with England; some have been rested; some have played; and it is a question of getting them playing together as quickly as possible and clearly we didn’t gel. We were lucky to win, but we need to improve a lot when we play Bath next week.

“We need to have a look at this performance, and we need to get our basics right. A lot of that is just playing to space, being able to pass and catch under pressure – you don’t need extra sessions to do that.”

London Irish head coach Glenn Delaney was pleased with his side’s battling display and feels it is something they can build on for the rest of the season.

“We are pretty disappointed we didn’t win. We knocked it on over the line and tight games come down to those sorts of things,” Delaney said.

“To be in the contest against the champions in their back yard was a great effort from our lads, we defended really, really well and created pressure. We have done well, but we can’t be satisfied, we had the winning of the game in our hands, but we didn’t execute it.

“It is as tough as it gets here. We pride ourselves on our forward play and this is the acid test coming here.

“These are good nights for us to learn. That is a building block for the next seven weeks of the season. As long as we get that level of effort, we can work on the skill bits and execution, the effort is something you can’t coach.”

Published: Saturday 14th February 2015 by The News Editor

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