'Good and bad' lessons for Saints coaches after loss at Bristol

Chris Boyd says he learned good and bad things about his Saints squad from Tuesday night's 47-10 defeat at Bristol Bears.

Chris Boyd
Chris Boyd

Saints shipped seven tries on a sobering night at Ashton Gate, where Bristol racked up their biggest Premiership home win.

Five points from the boot of James Grayson and a try from Premiership debutant Josh Gillespie was all Saints had to show for their efforts.

They have now suffered five defeats from six games since the restart.

And Boyd said: "We exposed some youngsters - some good and some bad.

"Obviously we're disappointed with the score.

"We really came here with a sprinkling of first stringers and a development side so it told us some things, good and bad.

"But at the end of the day, it took us too long to get to 10 points just after half-time when we had six or seven cracks inside their 22 but we got there in the end.

"At 21-10 there was maybe a chance but we lost both props and had a bit of a problem there.

"We were down to 14 men and we had to get a couple of guys off who we needed to protect in terms of minutes and what the league allows you to do - 180 minutes across three games in eight days - so we had to make some changes.

"It meant we were pretty green, pretty inexperienced, under the pump and with 14 men.

"And they scored three or four pretty decent tries.

"We dropped off some tackles and made some poor reads.

"You go back and have a look at the tape and it tells you whether some guys are ready to play at that level or not.

"Generally, you can get away with one or two, but when you've got four or five all on the paddock together it can be a bit of a battle.

"But Bristol are as good as anybody in the league and when they're hot, they're hot."