Mallinder happy with balance as Northampton Saints blitz Irish to claim bonus point

HAT-TRICK HERO - Jamie Elliott goes over for one of his three tries against London Irish (pictures: Linda Dawson)

HAT-TRICK HERO - Jamie Elliott goes over for one of his three tries against London Irish (pictures: Linda Dawson)

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Jim Mallinder felt Saints got the balance right as they blitzed London Irish 40-14 at Franklin’s Gardens.

Jamie Elliott scored a hat-trick and there were also tries for forwards Samu Manoa, Soane Tonga’uiha and GJ van Velze as the Exiles were eviscerated.

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

The bonus-point win moved Saints into the Premiership top four as they leapfrogged London Wasps and Gloucester.

The victory was secured from a fine display, which saw both the Northampton forwards and the backline shine.

And Mallinder was delighted with the mix his side showed as they ran riot against an Irish team who had beaten them 39-17 back in October.

“I’m very happy” said the Saints boss. “To get a bonus-point win is great.

“London Irish are a spirited side, who have been playing really well recently, and that first half was close.

“We got a really important try towards the end of the first half and then came out in the second half and really dominated the game.

“We got the balance right in how we played. The forwards were very good, our maul was good, we were strong in the scrum, but we were also good behind.

“We made good decisions and when you score tries from your set piece, your maul and also out wide, it shows you’ve got the balance right.”

Elliott’s showing was the standout feature of the game, with the 20-year-old wing taking his personal record to five tries in two games.

And Mallinder was delighted with the Bedford-born player, who is a product of Saints’ academy.

“He’s a very composed player,” said Mallinder. “He’s got his feet on the ground, has Jamie Elliott.

“What’s particularly pleasing for us is that he’s local. He came through the academy and he’s a young lad who’s now proving himself at Premiership level.

“For us that’s got to be one of the satisfying things.”