Saints boss Mallinder backs Carley’s big Kingsholm call

Referee Matthew Carley awarded Saints a penalty try and sin-binned David Halaifonua (pictures: Sharon Lucey)

Referee Matthew Carley awarded Saints a penalty try and sin-binned David Halaifonua (pictures: Sharon Lucey)

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Saints boss Jim Mallinder insisted referee Matthew Carley had no choice but to award what proved to be a crucial penalty try at Kingsholm.

Carley punished Gloucester wing David Halaifonua for a deliberate knock-on as Saints sent the ball out to the left.

The Saints players watched the big screen as referee Matthew Carley discussed David Halaifonua's knock-on with the TMO

The Saints players watched the big screen as referee Matthew Carley discussed David Halaifonua's knock-on with the TMO

Halaifonua was sin-binned during the incident that came six minutes from time and Stephen Myler slotted the conversion to secure a gritty 13-12 Aviva Premiership success.

And when asked whether he felt Saints were lucky to be awarded the penalty try, Mallinder said: “No, we were going to score.

“It was a clear overlap so it was the only decision the referee could make.”

And he added: “I’m very pleased with the win. It was a bit of a dogfight out there, not a pretty game, but very competitive.

“We decided to go into a breeze and up the hill in the first half and we were disappointed to be nine points down at half-time, but we knew we’d still be in the game playing down the hill and so it proved.”

Myler’s match-winning conversion came on his 300th appearance for Saints.

And Mallinder said: “It’s a tremendous achievement, 300 appearances in this professional era.

“Players now move around a lot more and you’re not getting players reaching the milestones that they used to do.

“He’s been a fantastic servant for the club and hopefully he’ll continue to do that in the future.”