By Cherry Picker
September 2 2012
Even Northampton coach Jim Mallinder admitted that his team were lucky to win the opening fixture of the season against Gloucester at Kingsholm, and his opposite number Nigel Davies is quite right to pick out the positives after his team's 24-19 reverse.
But as Mallinder also pointed out, it’s the result that counts and the fact is that Glaws have started a season for which everybody had such high hopes with a home defeat. It’s not the end of the world and there were positives on show, but it’s not ideal either.
Let’s get one major fact straight from the off … much has been made of the theory that while Glaws are a team being rebuilt, Saints are three years ahead of them in terms of development. Yet five Saints players had never played in the Premiership before.
Mallinder admitted to the BBC: "In a way, we're fortunate to get away with the win.
"But we've come down to Kingsholm and not played particularly well and won the game. We'll go up the motorway happy.”
So they should.
Glaws had a lot more of the game after a disappointing first half, when they allowed Saints to dominate. But the cherry and whites couldn’t make their domination pay and had to settle for a penalty try in reply to three Northampton tries, two from George Pisi and one from Dylan Hartley.
Freddie Burns converted the penalty try and kicked four penalties to keep Glaws in touch, but it wasn’t enough.
Davies said: “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves in the first half. We played in the wrong areas and we gave Northampton exactly the type of platform they thrive on.
"We changed things round in the second half and I was delighted with the way the boys went about their task.
"We gave them a soft try which was the difference at the end of the day. Arguably we maybe should have won that game.
"We were behind for large periods of the game, but we fought back strongly and the boys will take positives from that."
They will need to … the Premiership has started now and it doesn’t get any easier, though a trip to face a London Irish side hammered by Saracens on day one offers a chance of recovery.
Trouble is, Irish will be saying the same.
|2 Sep, 2012 09:35||Report|
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