Mixed feelings for Mallinder

Date published: February 14 2015

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder believes his charges were lucky to come away with the spoils against London Irish on Friday.

The 15-9 win at Franklin's Gardens saw them hold on at the death as the Exiles launched a line-out drive to cap a nervy showing from the hosts.

But in the end the earlier tries by Ken Pisi and Sam Dickinson proved sufficient in claiming victory as Northampton secured four domestic points.

"The positive is that we won and are still top of the league, but the downside is we didn't play very well. We created a lot of chances, a lot of our options were good, but our accuracy was terrible," Mallinder told Press Association Sport.

"London Irish slowed the game down and got stuck into us, it was a gritty away performance by them and in the end we were lucky to win.

"It is always difficult at this time of year when you have had a couple of LV= Cup games, then come straight back into the Premiership and try to put the group back together.

"Some have been away with England; some have been rested; some have played; and it is a question of getting them playing together as quickly as possible and clearly we didn't gel. We were lucky to win, but we need to improve a lot when we play Bath next week.

"We need to have a look at this performance, and we need to get our basics right. A lot of that is just playing to space, being able to pass and catch under pressure – you don't need extra sessions to do that."