Boyd salutes Saints' 'amazing' travelling support

Boss Chris Boyd was full of praise for Saints' army of travelling supporters after the stunning 36-24 win at Lyon on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 12:03 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th January 2020, 12:04 pm
Saints boss Chris Boyd

Saints took another big following abroad, and, just as at Benetton in November, the fans were rewarded with a dramatic Champions Cup win.

Boyd masterminded a second-half comeback that saw Saints recover from a 17-5 half-time deficit in some style.

It was a crucial bonus-point success in the final pool stage match, and the Saints supporters were able to sing loud and proud in the Matmut Stadium sun.

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The players were quick to thank the travelling faithful at the final whistle, and flanker Lewis Ludlam later tweeted: "Best travelling support in Europe?"

"It was amazing," Boyd said.

"Even during the game, the chants that were coming were generally coming from the Northampton Saints faithful.

"We applaud them for travelling.

"We love playing at home at the Gardens and it's a very special place with a very special group of supporters, and it's great that they come on the road and we've got a victory for them.

"I hope they've had a great weekend and it's great for them."

Mike Haywood had put Saints in front in France, but Lyon roared into action with some ferocious collisions, eventually earning a 12-point lead by the break.

However, Saints refused to wilt and they bounced back to win the second half 31-7 thanks to tries from Teimana Harrison, Cobus Reinach, George Furbank and James Fish.

It was a first win in France for nine years and ended a run of 11 successive Saints defeats across the Channel.

And Boyd felt his team dealt with Lyon's power pack well overall.

"Individually those big (Lyon) power athletes can create a problem, but when you have a collective, particularly in your forward pack, where they have two players and we have three or four, it makes a difference," Boyd said.

"It was a much-improved effort in that second half.

"It's definitely a young side and some of the young guys put their hand up and played really well.

"There were a lot of pleasing things because we had a tough day in the lineout against Benetton and Alex Moon, who is just a young fella, controlled our lineout beautifully against Lyon.

"Ferg (Matt Ferguson) has done a really good job with our scrum, which 12 to 15 months ago was under a lot of pressure.

"The boys told me the volume of pancakes they ate at the hotel on Friday night was probably responsible for the improved scrummaging effort and it was really good.

"The loose trio were good collectively and there were a lot of parts of the machine that worked pretty well."