Saints set for 'good Christmas challenge' against Gloucester

Chris Boyd says today's game against Gloucester at Franklin's Gardens is 'a good Christmas challenge' for Saints.

Saints boss Chris Boyd
Saints boss Chris Boyd

The Cherry and Whites come to Franklin's Gardens on the back of a big victory against Worcester Warriors last weekend.

Johan Ackermann's side were 36-3 winners in the Gallagher Premiership game at Kingsholm and will look to back it up by beating a Saints team who have lost three matches in a row.

Saints were beaten 40-31 by Gloucester at the Gardens back in April and will face another tough test this afternoon (kick-off 2pm).

But Boyd and his players are relishing the battle in front of a full house in Northampton.

"Everyone talks about Gloucester's attack, but they're a pretty good defensive side," Boyd said.

"We're obviously pleased to be back home at Franklin's Gardens but it's a big ask and we're looking forward to the challenge.

"They're tough to play against and we need to be better defensively, which we're working hard on.

"It's a good Christmas challenge for us."

This time last year, Saints produced one of their best displays under the stewardship of Boyd as they beat Exeter Chiefs 31-28 in a Christmas cracker at the Gardens.

And Boyd reflected: "It was an important win for us because we hadn't done so well before Christmas last year.

"We'd sort of dipped in and around the bottom of the table so for us to get the points in that was very good.

"But we're in a different situation this year and we thought we fought our way back well into the game (at Sale) last week to be locked up (level at 10-10) at half-time.

"But then they wouldn't let us play our game and we didn't respond accordingly.

"We got sucked into a street brawl that we didn't want to have and the rest is history.

"It was a big lesson for us and we seem to have been learning lessons for the past three weeks so hopefully we can put them on the field at some stage."