Mallinder hails Saints after ‘ugly’ win at Quins

FLYING HIGH - James Wilson on the attack for Saints against Harlequins (Pictures: Linda Dawson)
FLYING HIGH - James Wilson on the attack for Saints against Harlequins (Pictures: Linda Dawson)
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Saints boss Jim Mallinder hailed his side’s variety after they claimed an ‘ugly’ win at Harlequins.

Northampton won the battle of The Stoop mudbath thanks to James Wilson’s second-half score and eight points from the boot of Stephen Myler.

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

It was a determined performance, led by the pack, who ground it out in the soggiest of conditions in south-west London.

It showed Saints can mix it up when necessary as a stylish performance in the opening-day win against Exeter was followed by a display full of strength and grit.

And Mallinder said: “You’ve got to accept you’re going to get these nights. Last week it was a dry day, we played well and scored some good, open tries, tonight we knew we wouldn’t be able to play too much rugby.

“It’s all about getting your set piece right, getting your kicking game right and once you get into their third, take your opportunities, whether that’s tries or kicking the goals.

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

“To do well in the Premiership, you need variety in your game.

“That’s being able to play with 15 men, use the backs and a good passing game, but you need your set piece and to be able to play a territorial game at times. Nights like this, it’s very sensible.

“They’ve got two good half-backs (Nick Evans and Danny Care) who have, in the past, punished us with their kicking game - I remember a close game we lost to Harlequins at home a couple of years ago where their half-backs played really well and beat us.

“It was good to come down here and to win in an ugly but nice way.”

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson