Planet Rugby

Mallinder looking to build on win

16th December 2013 09:27


jim mallinder northampton saints

In contention: Jim Mallinder

Jim Mallinder believes Northampton Saints' fine win over Leinster offers ideal grounding for a run of tricky Premiership fixtures.

Having been humbled 40-7 at Franklin's Gardens a week previously by the same opposition, Mallinder's men bounced back in considerable style to claim an 18-9 victory.

While that result strengthens his side's position in Heineken Cup Pool 1, the director of rugby's focus now returns to domestic duties as Saints prepare to travel to London Wasps on Saturday before welcoming Bath and Harlequins to the Gardens.

"The win on Saturday gives a little bit of life to the (Heineken Cup) group," Mallinder told the Northampton Chronicle.

"At least it's not dead and buried.

"We've still got two tough games, but Leinster have got that as well so it gives us hope.

"It's great still to be in the competition, something to play for and it sets us up well for the next few weeks in the Premiership."

Mallinder was also delighted his charges has learned from and reacted positively to their home shellacking.

"The week before we were well and truly beaten," added Mallinder.

"We started badly and Leinster played really well, taking a lot of their opportunities and thoroughly deserving to beat us.

"We learned some lessons in the week from that defeat and I guess that's the pleasing thing."

Captain Dylan Hartley also praised the improvements Saints made to the breakdown and tackle area, with Leinster dominating both aspects in the first game of the double-header.

"We got beat up at home last week," Hartley told the Irish Times.

"Gain line, taking the ball into contact we got held up, the infamous choke tackle. We were so far out of the group . . . we said lets go there [Dublin] and let's focus on the process, which for us is physicality in the tackle."

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