Mallinder happy with Myler and Lamb double act

WORKING TOGETHER - Ryan Lamb and Stephen Myler (Picture: Linda Dawson)
WORKING TOGETHER - Ryan Lamb and Stephen Myler (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Jim Mallinder felt having two fly-halves in the team worked ‘really well’ against Castres on Friday night.

Mallinder selected regular No.10 Stephen Myler at full-back in the absence of specialist 15s Ben Foden and James Wilson, who were both out injured.

That gave Ryan Lamb the chance to return to the side at 10, but it was Myler who was handed the kicking duties.

The former Salford City stand-off did well from the tee, hitting the target with all four of his kicks at goal to help Saints claim a losing bonus point in a 21-16 defeat.

Lamb was less successful with the boot as he fluffed a second-half drop goal attempt, but he did add a touch of creativity to the side in tricky conditions.

And Mallinder said: “I think it worked well, it worked really well. I’m very happy with how both players played.

“I thought our back three did well and Ryan Lamb, in terms of playing the conditions, because Stephen Myler hasn’t played in that position a lot.

“Ultimately it was just some of our other basics that let us down and there are things we’re got to work on.”

As Mallinder pointed out, Saints failed to show their true potential in the loss at the Stade Ernest-Wallon in Toulouse.

Castres coped with the slippery surface and greasy ball better and ultimately claimed their first four points in Heineken Cup pool 4.

Saints did at least pocket a losing bonus point, but, with six points to their name, they are now three points adrift of table-toppers Ulster.

The December double-header between the two sides always promised to be pivotal, and so it proves, with Mallinder knowing his men must up their game if they are to put the Irish to the sword.

“We do have to be better,” he said. “Just watching Ulster this season, they’re certainly on top of their game, playing really well.

“To go up to Glasgow and win on Friday suggests they’re continuing that good form.

“You’ve got to go to win the pool and for us to do that we probably need two victories against Ulster.”