Dowson demands fast start from Saints against Doncaster

Phil Dowson is demanding a faster start from Saints when they host Doncaster Knights in a televised Premiership Rugby Cup clash on Sunday (kick-off 2.30pm).
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The black, green and gold fell 42-19 behind against Bath last Saturday but roared back to secure a thrilling 43-42 win.

And ahead of their next outing at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens, which will be shown live on TNT Sports, Dowson said: "We just need a faster start.

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"I thought we were slow out of the blocks against Bath and we want to be in a space where we know what we need to do pre-game and in the warm-up to startwell.

Phil Dowson and Matt Ferguson (picture: Adam Gumbs)Phil Dowson and Matt Ferguson (picture: Adam Gumbs)
Phil Dowson and Matt Ferguson (picture: Adam Gumbs)

"If we can do that and then stick to our DNA, stick to our plan and make sure we run that as hard as we can then we should be alright."

It will be the final cup game for Saints, who will not progress beyond the pool stages having lost two of their four matches in the competition.

So what has Dowson taken from this year's Premiership Rugby Cup journey?

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"We've taken loads of things that we were trying to implement in pre-season into the games," he said.

"From the Barbarians game into the early rounds of the cup, we gave opportunities for some of the younger players to show they're ready to step up, and lots of those players have done that and been really impressive.

"The most disappointing thing was probably that Bristol result (a 39-38 defeat at Ashton Gate) because I felt there was so much good stuff in that game yet we still conceded in the last minute to lose that one, which was frustrating because I felt we'd done enough.

"In the first half against Bath, clearly we weren't in the right space but to come back as we did, I commend the players for that."