Mallinder joy as Saints complete double over Quins

POINTING THE WAY - Saints winger George North celebrates his try against Harlequins (Picture: George North)

POINTING THE WAY - Saints winger George North celebrates his try against Harlequins (Picture: George North)

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Jim Mallinder admitted his delight at Saints showing they can beat the best this season after seeing them add Harlequins to their list of victims on Friday night.

Tries from George North and Dylan Hartley plus 13 points from the boot of Stephen Myler secured a 23-9 success at Franklin’s Gardens.

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

It was Saints’ sixth win from as many Premiership outings at the Gardens this season, with Saracens and Bath among the others to have been beaten in Northampton.

Mallinder’s men had struggled to see off their top-four rivals last season, losing to Saracens, Leicester and Quins at the Gardens.

But they have turned that around during this campaign, with Gloucester the only side to beat Saints in the Premiership so far.

And Mallinder said: “It’s pleasing (to have done the double over Harlequins) because there was all that chat last year about us not beating teams and it hurt.

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

“We’re delighted we’ve done the double over Quins and we’ve beaten Bath and beaten Saracens here.

“That’s good for us. It’s a good start to the new year for us.

“It puts us in a good position going back into Europe, but there’s a lot of games still to play.”

Saints’ success was sparked by a superb second-half effort from North, who bulldozed Quins wing Charlie Walker on his way to the line.

It was a moment that lit up what had, to that point, been a dull game, delighting Mallinder.

“We needed it,” said the Saints boss. “George was one on one and it was a fantastic effort.

“It was against young (Charlie) Walker, who is a talented player, but George, one on one you’ve got to make sure you make a good tackle.

“To see him go in the corner was fantastic.”