Boyd left to rue missed chances after Saints suffer derby-day defeat

Chris Boyd was left to rue missed chances after Saints suffered a 27-14 defeat to Leicester Tigers in the Gallagher Premiership play-off semi-final at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

By Tom Vickers
Saturday, 11th June 2022, 7:23 pm
Updated Saturday, 11th June 2022, 7:28 pm
Saints were beaten at Mattioli Woods Welford Road
Saints were beaten at Mattioli Woods Welford Road

The black, green and gold had plenty of territory and possession during Saturday’s encounter, but they paid the price for their profligacy, particularly during the first half.

They were also hit by a yellow card for replacement prop Oisin Heffernan, who was harshly sin-binned for a seatbelt tackle on Jasper Wiese.

And Boyd was left to reflect on a game that got away for his spirited side, who saw Leicester advance to Twickenham to face Saracens in next Saturday's showpiece.

"If we could have nailed one or two chances we created in the first half, it would have created a different game because they would have had to play a different game," Boyd said.

"As it was, we didn't take those chances and then there was a yellow card, a mistake, a penalty and it just sort of got away from us.

"It's pretty disappointing really and 27-14 sounds a bit of a hiding but the game was there for us for the first 60 minutes.

"I didn't think they played that well either to be honest but they were accurate when they needed to be accurate.

"We still created things but we just didn't finish them off so those little bits of indecision and skill error cost us in the end.

"I couldn't ever fault the players' effort because even when we had a tough run previously, we still tried really hard, we were just inaccurate or couldn't get it right.

"The process we had for the first 40 minutes didn't reap us the reward we were hoping it would, and if it did then we could have changed the way the game transpired and maybe got a different outcome."

Saints more than matched Tigers up front for a lot of the game, fighting fire with fire.

And Boyd added: "In the first half when we were able to scrum, we were scrum dominant, but when they were throwing it on the floor, we couldn't get it going.

"We have to be five per cent better here and five per cent better there, but for long parts our set piece stood up and our breakdown stood up.

"We just couldn't take those chances in the first half.

"I said to the coaches before the game that it would be a really interesting test of the blueprint we’re trying to play to against a side that plays a very much more traditional northern hemisphere style.

"We wanted to see if we could get a reward from that or see whether we would have to tweak the way we play and the balance of our squad.

"There was enough on show today that with just a little bit more experience, a little bit more accuracy and just a little patch up here and there, this team can grow to be competitive with anyone.

"There’s lots of room for optimism but a lot of disappointment at the same stage.”