Saints showing title credentials

Sat, 04 Jan 2014 12:43
Large jim mallinder

Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder admitted his side were showing their title credentials for all to see.

Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder admitted his side were showing their title credentials for all to see after victory over Harlequins took them top of the Premiership.

George North set Northampton on their way with his second try in as many weeks five minutes after half-time before the boot of Stephen Myler and a late Dylan Hartley try made the game safe.

Harlequins lost flyhalf Nick Evans to injury at the break but continued to hammer on the door until the end.

And after completing the double over another member of the top four, Mallinder was quick to underline his side's fine run that has taken them to the top.

"We're delighted we've done the double over Quins and we've beaten Bath and beaten Saracens here," he said.

"It's pleasing [to have done the double over Harlequins] because there was all that chat last year about us not beating teams and it hurt.

"That's good for us. It's a good start to the new year for us. It puts us in a good position going back into Europe but there's a lot of games still to play.

"We've shown we can play in different conditions because it was tricky out there today. It wasn't easy and we've shown we can play in different conditions, play well and be competitive against the top sides.

"We needed it [George North's try]. He was one on one and it was fantastic," Mallinder said.

"It was against young [Charlie] Walker, who is a talented player, but George, one on one, you've got to make sure you make a good tackle.

"To see him go in the corner was fantastic.

"The lineout is not easy in those conditions and really you want to go to the front or middle and you don't want to be chucking too many towards your tail and they put us under a bit of pressure there."

Quins knew victory would have taken them up to third in the table but instead they are in danger of slipping out of the top four over the course of the weekend.

However, Conor O'Shea, their director of rugby, claims his side still believe they can beat anyone on their day.

"I thought we brought a real energy and intensity to the game in the first half and we looked set for the second half.

"We didn't have field position and got on the wrong side of the referee for the whole match. The little things within the game went Northampton's way.

"We know where we are now. We've got a massive game next week and 10 games left in Premiership. Six of those are at home and we want to be top four.

"We know on our day we can beat anybody. I'm frustrated by a lot of what happened out there and I'm sure the crowd were as well.

"The conditions were poor and it was a difficult day to get any grip."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 10 8 0 2 40
Gloucester 10 7 0 3 32
Saracens 10 6 0 4 31
Bath 10 6 0 4 30
Wasps 10 6 0 4 29
Leicester Tigers 10 6 0 4 28
Harlequins 10 5 0 5 24
Newcastle Falcons 10 5 0 5 24
Sale Sharks 10 4 0 6 23
Northampton Saints 10 4 0 6 22
Worcester Warriors 10 2 0 8 14
London Irish 10 1 0 9 8