Saints spirit delights Mallinder

Date published: February 6 2016

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder was thrilled with his side's never-say-die attitude as they beat Harlequins 27-23 on Saturday.

A late Ben Foden try saw the visitors claim victory to the Stoop, despite being 20-23 down with time running out in the Premiership match.

And after the game Mallinder praised his men for never giving up.

"What's the expression? It's never over until the final whistle and I guess that was never more true than today," he told Press Association Sport.

"When we got the penalty and kicked to the corner I thought we had a good chance of scoring from the maul but then you think that's it, especially when they hook the ball and get it to the back you think it's over.

"But somehow the ball didn't go out but great credit to Ben Foden and the rest of the lads out there to react and get that final score."

Meanwhile, Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea admitted the last-ditch defeat was difficult to take as they missed the chance to close in on Exeter and Saracens at the summit.

"I cannot describe or put into words how I feel right now, I've never seen anything like it on a rugby field," he said.

"Should we have been done and dusted and over the hill? Yes, because of how we played in the match as a whole, but we allowed ourselves to get pinned in in the last five minutes and then to have done the hard work and stop the maul and give it away.

"There are so many things I could go back over but we talk about what we can control, well that was nothing short of unbelievable and unforgivable.

"You just had to walk over the dead ball line, kick it over, we had the ball in our hands, it's just a shame, it takes away so much of the brilliant rugby we played out there.

"Credit to Northampton for staying in the game, they should have been long gone, I don't think anyone who hasn't been here and witnessed that will believe what happened. We are just going to have to over the next 48 hours try and park it but it's going to take time."