Mixture of delight and disappointment for Dowson following Saints' win against Gloucester

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Phil Dowson combined delight with disappointment after seeing his Saints side secure a vital 41-34 bonus-point win against Gloucester.

The black, green and gold flew into a 41-15 lead during the second half, but Gloucester crept back into the game in the final 10 minutes and were able to grab two bonus points.

It was a frustrating ending for Saints as they allowed the side who had started the day one point below them in the table to take something from an encounter that looked beyond them.

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And Dowson said: "It was very disappointing to give those two bonus points away to the team that's just behind us in the league table.

James Ramm played a key role as Saints saw off Gloucester at the GardensJames Ramm played a key role as Saints saw off Gloucester at the Gardens
James Ramm played a key role as Saints saw off Gloucester at the Gardens

"It's such a tight league so to give away two bonus points in the final 10 minutes is really disappointing.

"But we're delighted with the win and we did some really good things.

"You know that against a team like Gloucester it is going to be tight and you're not going to blow them away in the first half.

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"We did the groundwork before half-time and we came to the fore in the second.

"For long periods we looked really good so it's that balance that we're really good on one side of the ball but haven't been able to keep them out for long enough on the other."

Despite the late frustration, Saints had to be pleased with another maximum haul, their second in as many matches.

They have now taken 14 points from the past 15 on offer in the Premiership, and they have done it despite being without a host of key players.

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Against Gloucester, Sam Graham stepped in for Juarno Augustus at No.8 and went on to deliver a hugely impressive performance.

Dowson said: "Sam was brilliant - the best game I've seen from him in a Saints shirt. He had a very positive impact because obviously Juarno is a big miss.

"The whole point of the squad is to make sure that if someone drops out, someone comes in and plays really well. Sam was one of those guys today."