Northampton Saints boss Chris Boyd praised his team for earning two points in their 42-38 loss to Saracens this weekend.
The team showed their character
Boyd commended his side’s “grit and resilience” in the crucial stages of the campaign and is entirely focused on their last game of the regular season.
“Time will tell whether those two bonus points will be crucial but we showed great grit and resilience to stick in there in the first half,” Boyd said.
“If we hadn’t we could have easily been 20 points down but Sarries came out fighting early in that second half and we didn’t respond well.
“We decided that our only chance was to free it up and it paid dividends as it’s a pretty good achievement to come away with those points.
“We are just concentrating on the Newcastle game but we know the semi-finals won’t be played in anything like the last 15 minutes as it will be much more of a grind.”
Saints captain Dan Biggar is disappointed with losing but is looking ahead to the final game as they attempt to secure a spot in the play-offs.
“We were very sloppy in that first period after half-time so we knew we had to chance our arm but it’s still disappointing to score 38 points and come away losing,” Biggar said.
“No disrespect to Newcastle but if we had been handed a home fixture against them to secure a playoff then we would have snatched one’s hand off.
“We are in really good form and scoring five tries will give us more confidence.”
Saracens boss Mark McCall was pleased to see his side bounce back after losing to Toulon in the Challenge Cup last weekend.
“It’s a great group of players and a great effort to get 87 points to get a home semi,” McCall said.
“We were really gutted at how we performed last week. Something was not quite right and maybe we were feeling a little bit pleased with ourselves after a few victories but we certainly got a punch in the face.
“We lacked accuracy in the first half and disappointed not to score against 13 men but it didn’t bother us as we knew if we cut out the mistakes then the tries would come so everyone was calm at half-time.”