Team spirit so key as Saints bid to bounce back

Jim Mallinder saw his Saints side lose 57-13 to Saracens last Sunday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Jim Mallinder saw his Saints side lose 57-13 to Saracens last Sunday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder says sticking together has been key for Saints as they build towards Saturday's big Champions Cup fixture at Clermont Auvergne.

Mallinder's men suffered the heaviest home defeat in Northampton history as they were beaten 57-13 by Saracens last Sunday.

It was a humbling experience for Saints, who had won four of their previous five matches.

And they must now rebuild quickly as they look to win at Stade Marcel Michelin, where Clermont thrashed them 37-5 in the Champions Cup quarter-finals in 2015.

“Clermont away is a pretty tough ask,” Mallinder said.

“We’ve had to really have a good look at ourselves, look at how we can get better.

“We’ve got to stick together - that’s key. It’s easy to point fingers at other people, but we’re in it together.

“We’ve got to make sure we come back with a game plan this week that will hopefully get us back to winning ways.”

So just how can Saints beat Clermont this weekend?

“We’ve got to look at things that work for us,” Mallinder said.

“It starts from one to 15 and it’s got to be a game plan that works for us.

“It starts with winning the set piece, being dominant, getting on the front foot, which we weren’t last Sunday.

“We didn’t look after the ball and a lot of that was down to how they defend because they’re very aggressive and physical.

“We’ve got to have a game plan that is going to work against Clermont this weekend.”