Saints ‘not down and out’ despite Euro setback

Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder
Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder

Jim Mallinder stressed Saints are ‘not down and out’ after suffering a 20-11 defeat in their opening Champions Cup match at Racing Metro.

Marc Andreu’s late try and Johannes Goosen’s conversion ensured Mallinder’s men would take nothing from the match in Colombes.

It was a tough conclusion to the night for Saints as they had hauled themselves back to just two points behind with Phil Dowson’s score five minutes from time.

But as it is, they will now need to bounce back quickly by beating the Ospreys at Franklin’s Gardens next Saturday evening.

And Mallinder said: “We’re disappointed because we’ve lost a game that we could have won.

“We always knew it was going to be difficult, we always knew we were going to have to play to our very best because they’re a quality side full of top players.

“We’ve said in the changing room that we can still win it. We’re not down and out.

“But it would have been nice to have got something from the game tonight.”

Saints were always playing catch-up at the Stade Yves du Manoir, where, backed by their vociferous home crowd, Racing took control with an Alexandre Dumoulin score.

Mallinder’s men fought back after going in at half-time 10-3 down, but in the end they couldn’t get anything from the game.

“It was a tight affair and it was disappointing to concede the first try,” said Mallinder.

“We were slowly getting into it, there were some decisions at the scrum that we didn’t quite understand.

“I was pleased with our effort in the second half, we were getting into the game and getting our maul going.

“We got some go-forward under pressure and it was one of those games that, on another day, we could easily have won.”