Mallinder warns rivals that Saints can mix it up

WARNING - Saints coach Jim Mallinder (Picture: Linda Dawson)
WARNING - Saints coach Jim Mallinder (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Jim Mallinder has issued a warning the rest of the Premiership: Stop our pack and we’ll hit you with our backs.

The Saints boss saw his side grind to a third league victory in a row at Bath on Friday night, as they squeezed a succession of penalties out of their hosts at The Recreation Ground.

Like the first two games, against Gloucester and Exeter, it wasn’t the prettiest performance from Mallinder’s men.

But it was yet another exhibition of how strong they are up front, with the driving maul again a key feature.

Teams are yet to work out how to stop the irrepressible Saints pack and future rivals will be scratching their heads trying to figure out a formula to stop the forwards.

But Mallinder isn’t fazed as he believes his side are more than capable of exploiting other chinks in the armour of opposition outfits.

He said: “To be fair, Bath had done a lot of hard work during the week and they made a lot of changes to what they’ve been doing over the last couple of weeks.

“It’s very tactical and they did well in this area, disrupting our ball and stopping our maul.

“It’s something we’ll keep working on but you’ve got to look at your other options as well and if they put too much emphasis on stopping that rhythm, that’s when you look to attack elsewhere.”

Saints have already claimed two wins on the road, triumphing at two tricky venues, Kingsholm and The Recreation Ground, despite not hitting top gear in attack.

Mallinder admits he is pleased his men have picked up points despite not playing to their full potential and he is now looking forward to successive home games, against Worcester and Wasps.

“Any win away from home is pleasing,” said the Saints boss. “I think that’s what we’ll look back on.

“In terms of the performances, we’re still not playing as we want for 80 minutes but the most important thing is we’re winning.

“We’ve won two away from home and one at home and we’ve got a little run of two home games in a row now.

“It was a short turnaround last week. We played Sunday and Friday, so to get that win was the most important thing.”