Defeats will not alter Saints' new style, says Vesty

Attack coach Sam Vesty insists defeats will not derail the way Saints are trying to play this season.

Thursday, 18th October 2018, 8:00 am
Saints attack coach Sam Vesty (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

The black, green and gold have lost five of their seven games in all competitions so far during this campaign.

They head to the Dragons for a Challenge Cup clash on Friday night on the back of a 41-20 loss to Clermont Auvergne in the European opener at Franklin's Gardens last weekend.

And Vesty said: "When you're trying to do something different, rather than looking at the results, which do have a big impact, you have to be objective.

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"We are doing lots of good things but not for a consistent period of time.

"Our focus needs to be on getting better with what we do and being more accurate so we can do it for longer periods of time.

"It would be silly to change how you play or what you're trying to achieve after one result, two results, three results."

One area in which Saints have struggled this season is restarts.

They have switched off on numerous occasions, gifting possession back to the opposition.

"Restarts are such an important time," Vesty said.

"It took us 15 minutes to grind them (Clermont) down and get three points and we worked really hard for it last weekend, but they kicked off and immediately got three points back.

"It was a big issue in that game, and over the season it has not been as consistent as we'd want it to be.

"It's difficult to put your finger on the exact reason for every one (restart loss) because they will be skill errors, they will be lack of composure - all of those elements within them.

"We need an understanding that they are important and we need to hold them in higher regard.

"If we're going to score tries or kick penalties, we need to then get out of our end and put the pressure back on them."

The Dragons got off to a flyer last weekend, racking up a bonus-point 54-17 win at Timisoara Saracens.

And though Saints won 42-10 at Rodney Parade during pre-season, Vesty is expecting a much tougher test on Friday night.

"They'll be a very different team to the one we played in pre-season," he said.

"They're an attacking team and even in defence they want to come and get you and be aggressive. They don't mind a scrap.

"It will be quite an open spectacle and if it gets scrappy, that's how they like to play and they'll be in their element there.

"They've got some really dangerous players.

"It will be a really good encounter."