Mallinder calls on Gardens faithful to roar Saints to victory over Tigers

LET'S HEAR THE GARDENS ROAR - Saints coach Jim Mallinder says the supporters have a big part to play in Friday night's play-off semi-final against Leicester Tigers (Picture: Linda Dawson)

LET'S HEAR THE GARDENS ROAR - Saints coach Jim Mallinder says the supporters have a big part to play in Friday night's play-off semi-final against Leicester Tigers (Picture: Linda Dawson)

0
Have your say

Jim Mallinder says the Saints supporters will have a huge part to play in pushing their team over the line against Leicester on Friday night.

Northampton secured a home Premiership play-off semi-final thanks to a second-placed finish during the regular season.

That means Tigers will be forced to travel in pursuit of a 10th successive league final appearance.

And Mallinder is urging his team to start fast as they bid to get lift the decibel levels at Franklin’s Gardens and secure a place in the May 31 Twickenham showpiece.

“You don’t want to go two tries down like we did at the weekend (in the 74-13 win against Wasps), so a start is good,” said the Saints boss. “What it does is gets the crowd behind you as well. The crowd here when they get behind the team are fantastic.

“We look back to a few weeks ago and the last Friday night game against Harlequins in the semi-final of the Amlin and they were outstanding.

“They really lifted the team and it’s up to us to put in the performance to give them something to cheer.”

While Mallinder recognises the importance of a strong start, he knows a fully-blooded defensive effort is required for the full 80 minutes.

And he is expecting a titanic tussle between two packs of forwards who are renowned for their dominance.

“That’s the way Leicester play,” said Mallinder after being asked if he expects Leicester to try to bully Saints up front. “They’ve got a big pack, a very good lineout, which is well organised, and they get lots of options from that.

“They’re looking to deliver and launch their big players and ball carriers. We know they’ve got a lot of them, particularly in the backs, so that’s where their strength comes from.

“Defensively, we’re going to have to be on top of our game and play some really good, attacking rugby.

“We can’t just get into a brawl against them, it’s not just going to be set piece, it’s going to be 15 men. We play our best rugby when we’re playing 15-man rugby and that’s what we’ve got to look to do.”