Planet Rugby

Mallinder lauds North influence

12th January 2014 17:20

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Jim Mallinder Wasps Northampton

Impressed: Jim Mallinder

Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder hailed winger George North's powerful try in his side's 29-17 win over the Ospreys.

North followed up fine play from scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i to score from inside his own half, sparking an otherwise stodgy opening period.

Four Stephen Myler penalties and a try apiece from George Pisi and Glenn Dickson made up the rest of Saints' haul.

But Mallinder was keen to single out the British and Irish Lions wing's touch of class; the hulking Welshman now with three tries in as many games.

"It was a quality try, wasn't it?" Mallinder told the Northampton Chronicle and Echo.

"George will get all the headlines, and rightly so, but you've got to give great credit to Kahn Fotuali'i, who made a great turnover and showed his ability to see that space on the short side. Suddenly two on two became two on one and a half and that's all George needs.

"He's really settling into the way we want to play.

"Some people said he had a slow start but he did some brilliant things early on. Our league game down at Gloucester, we only got back into that game thanks to George's break out of the 22, to actually score the try at the end to take us into the lead.

"He's a quality player is George. We know he's young but he's determined to improve and work hard at his game and that's what he's doing with our coaches.

"He's got everything to play for, hasn't he? He plays for a good club, he plays for Wales, he's happy and we want all our players to want to play well for us and for their international team."

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