Mallinder pleased with weakened squad

Date published: December 1 2014

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Northampton boss Jim Mallinder is looking forward to the return of the club’s England internationals after a good November period.

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder is looking forward to the return of the club’s England internationals after a good November period.

Saints are in action this weekend in the Champions Cup with Saturday’s trip to Treviso, after picking up a 43-17 win over London Welsh in the Premiership.

Mallinder was generally happy with how his squad had handled the number of international absentees over the last few weeks.

“It has really been a good period. Forget about the Exeter result at home, which clearly was a setback for us, but generally this set of lads – minus the international players – has played well and put in some good performances. To be top of the league is very pleasing,” said Mallinder.

“Every win is important as the middle positions are very condensed. It’s vital that we stay in touch and having our England players back next week will bring us huge momentum as we also want to do well in Europe.

“It was very satisfying to win. You have to enjoy every win you have.

“We had to work hard, particularly in the first-half, and thankfully the forwards got on top and gave us the cushion. Second-half, we went on to score some good tries but credit to London Welsh, they played well, came back and scored two good tries themselves.

“You just need to build your score and get ahead as quickly as you can because you don’t want it being tight going into the final stages which is why it was really pleasing that the forwards got a grip of the game.

“It helped with them going down to 14 men but likewise, we were put under a bit of pressure when we went down to 14 and conceded a try. But this is good game time for all 23 of our players. We made a few changes in the second-half and got the five points.”

London Welsh assistant coach Ollie Smith rued his team’s costly yellow card.

“The 21 points we lost during the yellow card did not help our cause but on the whole, it was an improved performance.”

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