Artemyev demanding improvement ahead of season start

Vasily Artemyev says Saints must improve ahead of the start of the new season
Vasily Artemyev says Saints must improve ahead of the start of the new season
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SAINTS may have hammered Leinster 43-0 on Saturday – but Russian rocket Vasily Artemyev insists his side must improve ahead of the start of the new season.

Artemyev was one of seven Saints players to get on the scoresheet as they hammered the Heineken Cup holders, who fielded a far from full strength side, 43-0.

But the winger feels there is plenty more to come from Jim Mallinder’s men ahead of the Aviva Premiership curtain-raiser at Gloucester on September 1.

And he also wants the Saints to maintain the same sturdy level of defence which saw them deny Leinster a single point Franklin’s Gardens.

“I think we can still improve on the chances and opportunities we create,” he said.

“Some decision making could be better and when there’s space to run and you’re tired you’ve still got to think and use the space and holes you create. In that department we can still improve.

“Hopefully we’ll keep the same shape in defence and not give away the tries because that’s been a big focus in pre-season as well.”

Saturday’s game was particularly special for Artemyev as he came up against some familiar faces.

The 25-year-old, who has a thick Dublin accent, spent three years in the Leinster academy while studying a law degree at University College Dublin.

“A few of the boys were in school with me a few years below so it was good to have a chat with them,” said Artemyev.

“I haven’t had a chance to go back to Dublin since I finished Uni there in 2009 so it was good to see them again and hopefully the rest of pre-season will go well for them.”

And the reunion was, of course, made all the sweeter by the nature of Saints’ success.

“Overall we know exactly where we are at the moment and where we want to be,” he said. “This Leinster side was quite a young one without the internationals and we know that.

“We didn’t use all the opportunities we had in the first half but during the second half our fitness proved to be in a good condition.”