Jim Mallinder says Saints’ win at Newport-Gwent Dragons gives his side a ‘platform’ for a series of vital Premiership and Heineken Cup games.
Northampton ended their four-match winless streak with a 30-20 LV= Cup victory at Rodney Parade, slaying the sloppy Dragons thanks to tries from Phil Dowson and Jamie Elliott.
It wasn’t exactly a silky showing from Mallinder’s men, but it was an effective one that restores belief ahead of Saturday’s Premiership showdown against London Welsh.
The Welsh clash is followed by games against Sale, Ulster (twice), Harlequins, Saracens and Exeter, in what promises to be a testing period.
And Mallinder is pleased his side, who hit the top of LV= Cup pool four with the win, now have something to build on as they enter the make or break stage of their season.
“Someone just told me we’re top of the table and you wouldn’t have guessed it after a disappointing loss last week,” said the director of rugby. “That’s pleasing and it means we’re still in this competition and it sets us up.
“We’ve got very tough league games ahead of us, vital games, and that takes us into the back-to-back with Ulster.
“It was important for us to come down here and although it wasn’t pretty at times, it was hard-fought, we got the victory, we got something to work on, a platform and hopefully we can keep that progress going.”