Disappointment for Mallinder

Date published: January 9 2016

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder was left with mixed emotions after a late Freddie Burns penalty snatched a draw away from his side at Welford Road.

A 21-0 deficit was turned around by Saints into a 27-27 scoreline before Burns struck with time almost up.

"My reaction is clearly one of disappointment. I spoke to Courtney afterwards, and he said he tripped," said Mallinder.

"In the first half, we had a terrible 20 minutes – they were good, but we were terrible for 20 minutes – and you should not go 21-0 down at Welford Road.

"But we came back into it. We really got some good momentum in the second half and that (high tackle penalty) was a massive moment, because I am pretty sure if that (try) had been allowed then I think we would have gone on and won the game."

Mallinder also revealed that there was no major concern over the fitness of Dylan Hartley, after the England hooker was withdrawn at the last minute from the bench because of a rib issue.

"He got a bang to his ribs last week," Mallinder added.

"He trained a little bit in the week but at the last minute, he was just too sore to play today.

"We were hoping that he would come through and be fine. It's a bang to the ribs, and he has done some training this week, so he is not going to be out for a long time.

"But I guess ribs are one of those things, and particularly when you are scrummaging, you are not exactly sure how it is going to affect."