Burrell demands complete performance from Saints

HAPPY MAN - Luther Burrell celebrates scoring his try against Exeter on Sunday   Picture: Linda Dawson
HAPPY MAN - Luther Burrell celebrates scoring his try against Exeter on Sunday Picture: Linda Dawson
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Luther Burrell has urged Saints to start playing to their potential for the full 80 minutes as they prepare to face Bath on Friday night.

Summer signing Burrell scored a try on his Premiership home debut in the green, black and gold as Northampton came back from 16-12 down to beat Exeter 24-21 on Sunday.

It was the second tough work-out of the season following the gritty 24-19 opening-day win at Gloucester, where Saints clung on with just 14 men in the final minutes.

In both games, Jim Mallinder’s men had spells where they switched off, allowing the opposition to make up points deficits and threaten to steal the win.

And Burrell, who has been a super-sub in both games so far, helping in the huge defensive effort at Kingsholm and showing his attacking instincts against the Chiefs, has warned Saints they can’t afford to slack against in-form Bath this week.

“It’s just a matter of focusing on ourselves,” said the powerhouse centre, who joined from Sale during the close season.

“Obviously we’ve got to get back to the drawing board and see what Bath are going to bring but we’ve got to focus on getting ourselves right for 80 minutes, not just for 50 minutes.

“Bath is going to be another tough challenge. It’s not going to be easy for us to go down there and pick up a victory but I strongly believe we’ve got the squad to do that.”

Burrell has quickly acquired the tag of super-sub since switching to Saints, showing his skills off the bench during pre-season and in the Premiership so far.

And he became an instant hit with the Franklin’s Gardens faithful, scoring a try on his competitive home debut which provided the catalyst for the victory against the determined Chiefs.

“It was an absolutely brilliant way to start,” said Burrell, who replaced the injured George Pisi 35 minutes into the game. “It was brilliant to score and a brilliant win.

“The boys dug in in the second half and that’s what the Saints are about. It’s not always going to be pretty but we got five points and that’s what matters.

“Exeter are one of those sides, they’re never going to give up and what we’ve got to do now is build on that performance and start playing for 80 minutes, not 50 or 60.

“We need to shove sides out and play for that full 80 minutes.”