King delighted with Saints’ young guns

Saints flanker Phil Dowson squares up to Newcastle during the LV= Cup clash at Franklin's Gardens (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Saints flanker Phil Dowson squares up to Newcastle during the LV= Cup clash at Franklin's Gardens (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Attack coach Alex King says he couldn’t have asked for more from Saints after they produced a five-star showing in the LV= Cup opener against Newcastle Falcons.

A Tom Collins brace, allied with a memorable effort from Mike Haywood and further scores from Teimana Harrison and Howard Packman secured a 37-23 win at Franklin’s Gardens.

It was a display that belied the 14 changes made by the coaches, who were shorn of their England stars, as well as George North and Samu Manoa.

And King couldn’t have been happier as the potent blend of youth and experience produced an explosive performance.

“It was great for the youngsters and the whole week has been brilliant,” said King.

“We’ve had a lot of enthusiasm with guys playing for the first time on the hallowed turf here and the crowd were brilliant.

“It wasn’t perfect by any means with the start we got, but we responded superbly.

“We had some experienced guys out there and they calmed things down. We couldn’t ask for more and we’re delighted for the guys.

“There were a lot of changes but these guys work really hard and this was the reward for the work they put in during the weeks when the international guys are here.

“We talk about playing in our systems every week, whether that’s in defence or attack.

“There are things to work on next week before we go down to Scarlets (next Friday) but I thought the enthusiasm and initiative in the game was spot on.”