Mallinder delight at ‘crazy’ Saints victory

LATE, LATE SHOW - Saints celebrate Ben Foden's dramatic last-gasp try (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)
LATE, LATE SHOW - Saints celebrate Ben Foden's dramatic last-gasp try (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder admits he has never seen a finish as ‘crazy’ as the one that saw Saints claim a 27-23 victory at Harlequins on Saturday afternoon.

With the clock having struck 80, Quins’ replacement fly-half Ben Botica had the chance to boot the ball out of play to win the game.

He attempted to, but the wind carried the ball into the arms of Ben Foden, who started and finished a fine team move to give Saints a vital Aviva Premiership victory.

It was a stunning conclusion to a rollercoaster encounter at The Stoop.

And Mallinder, like everyone else in attendance, couldn’t quite believe what he had seen.

“No, no,” he said, when asked whether he had ever witnessed such a bizarre conclusion. “It was crazy.

“You get close endings and this season we’ve had some tight games, and we’ve lost some tight games. Worcester, first game, losing the ball and then getting the drop goal to win the game.

“There’s lots of close, tight games that we’ve been involved in, but nothing like that.”

Christian Day and Luther Burrell had both dotted down during the first half, giving Saints a 17-14 lead at the break.

But Quins fought back to take a 23-20 lead, with Botica seemingly having won it with a penalty.

However, he presented an opportunity to Saints, and Foden took it with ruthless efficiency.

And Mallinder said: “Ben Foden looked really lively and for him just to take that ball, feed it in and some real good backs play created that extra man, with Foden wrapping round.

“I’m delighted because we played some good rugby today, showed some good attacking intent, some big improvements from last week in defence and attack. We need to continue with that.”