Saints coach Mallinder warns against complacency at London Irish

SECOND BEST - Saints were beaten at Wasps in their next game after at impressive Franklin's Gardens win over Gloucester

SECOND BEST - Saints were beaten at Wasps in their next game after at impressive Franklin's Gardens win over Gloucester

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Jim Mallinder has urged his Saints players to avoid suffering another big fall when they face London Irish at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon.

Mallinder’s men head to Reading on the back of a largely impressive 31-24 victory against Bath at Franklin’s Gardens last Saturday.

But the last time Saints claimed a fine home victory - against Gloucester - they came crashing down to earn with defeat at Wasps the following week.

And Mallinder is desperate to avoid a repeat performance as his side seek to make it four wins from their first five Aviva Premiership games.

“Sometimes you can get a little bit carried away,” said the Saints boss.

“We had a big win here against Gloucester and then didn’t back it up at Wasps so we need to make sure we back last weekend up with hopefully another win down at Irish.

“They’re a good side. They came close (to beating Saints) down there and here at the Gardens. We went into the lead and they came back stronger.

“Two years ago we went down there and lost (39-17) so it’s never an easy game against them.”

Irish have enjoyed a strong start to the new campaign, coming agonisingly close to slaying Saracens before claiming the scalp of Leicester at Welford Road last weekend.

And Mallinder said: “They’ve done really well. Over the past couple of years they’ve developed a squad and a team that is hard to beat.

“Maybe they’ve been guilty of being a bit lightweight in the past and trying to play too much - (Irish boss) Brian Smith always enjoys his attacking rugby - but now they’ve got a good balance to the game.

“Just looking at some of their performances, last week against Leicester in particular, their set piece looked very, very dominant.”