‘We had a job to do’ – Northampton Saints share sympathies after hammering Gloucester and securing semi-final

Dylan Coetzee
Premiership Phil Dowson Pat Lam Records tumbled at Ashton Gate on Friday evening as Northampton Saints fell to their heaviest defeat in the Premiership, as Bristol Bears claimed a 62-8 victory.

Northampton Saints boss Phil Dowson.

Northampton Saints boss Phil Dowson shared his sympathies with Gloucester after his side dismantled their Premiership rivals 90-0 on Saturday.

The mammoth victory is the second-highest margin of victory in Premiership history and secures a semi-final spot for the table leaders.

Saints scored a ridiculous 14 tries on the day where Gloucester were nowhere, having rested their key stars with the Challenge Cup final against the Sharks in a fortnight.

Feel for opposition

Dowson felt for his rival coach George Skivington but underlined that the team had a job to do.

“I know (Gloucester head coach) George Skivington pretty well – I obviously worked with him during the Six Nations – and there’s clearly different priorities going on,” Dowson said.

“We had to do something today in order to guarantee a home semi, George is building towards a European final and also next season, so there were different motivating factors today.

“It’s never nice to be on the end of a 90-0 humping but, at the same time, we had a job to do.

“I wanted to push the players to stay really focused on what that was and not get too distracted by the scoreline.

“So you’ve got to take that and we’ve all been there. We’ve all been on the end of those sort of games and you find out a lot about yourself and a lot about your team.

“I’m sure George, Dom Waldouck and all those good lads at Gloucester will take that on moving forward.”

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Big result was coming

Skivington admitted he was fearful of a big scoreline for this clash and gave credit to the Saints for their onslaught.

“I thought there might be a heavy scoreline today when I saw the team they selected.

“I knew momentum would go against us at some point and it would be hard to recover, but that was extremely painful.

“I thought Saints were absolutely ruthless. I thought they were brilliant today and our young lads just couldn’t find traction, couldn’t find their way out of it, couldn’t get anything going in the game.

“And Saints’ defence, whenever we did get a little bit of momentum, turned the ball over and took it off us.

“It was always going to be a tough day but we came with the approach we came with. I can’t moan too much about it, albeit we won’t be brushing this off either.

“I thought there were some lads who really did show what they could do and there were a few who showed they’re well off the pace in the Premiership.”

READ MORE: Northampton Saints put NINETY points past Gloucester in Premiership massacre