Saints never lost faith

Sun, 12 May 2013 19:26
Large jim mallinder saints Large brendan venter   mark mccall Large saracens v saints Large saracens v saints2 Large jamie elliott saints v sara

Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder admitted his side had never lost self-belief as they finally ended their Premiership play-off hoodoo.

Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder admitted his side had never lost self-belief as they finally ended their Premiership play-off hoodoo in upsetting Saracens 27-13.

After five semifinal defeats in the play-offs, including three in the last three years, Saints got over the hump in dramatic style at Allianz Park on Sunday.

Brian Mujati, Jamie Elliott and GJ van Velze all crossed the whitewash for the visitors and while Saracens, the table toppers in the regular season, threatened a comeback it was too little too late.

And after finally guiding his side to Twickenham for an Premiership Final, Mallinder insisted he had never lost the faith that his side had what it takes to beat off their top-of-the-table rivals.

"We heard people talking that we cannot beat a top four side but that record has got to go at some stage and fortunately it has gone this afternoon," he said.

"We were well beaten by Leicester the other week and we held our hands up but in some of the other matches against the top three we have been very close.

"Saracens against Milton Keynes is a very good example so we know we are a good side and that it is close.

"Sometimes it's just about getting that little bit of detail right, plus matching side's with that focus and that intensity.

"Without a doubt in these top games you need to have composure and there were always going to be times when you are going to be struggling.

"But we did not help ourselves with some of our decision making in that second half."

"We know that Leicester are a great side, they were very impressive yesterday but if we turn up with our support then we have got a good chance."

Meanwhile for Saracens head coach Mark McCall it was very much a case of holding his hands up and admitting defeat to the better side on the day.

Duncan Taylor's try and two penalties from Owen Farrell threatened a comeback in the second period but by then the damage was done and McCall knew it.

"We were really poor in the first half, credit to Northampton because I thought that they were outstanding and forced us to make a lot of mistakes, particularly in that first half," he said.

"We did our best in the second half but ultimately it was not good enough.

"Certainly they were extremely physical and forced us into a lot of errors, but on top of that we made some poor choices in the first half.

"We showed in patches in the second half that we were capable of putting them under some pressure but by then it was a mountain to climb.

"It feels terrible but we have done a lot of good things this year at the club, we have won a lot of matches and progressed and grown as a squad.

"But it is disappointing that on the big day we did not give up our best.

"Fair play to Northampton though, they have been disappointed in semi-finals for three years in a row and for Jim and Dorian it's a great achievement to get to their first final."

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Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
RESULT SCORE
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 37 | 17
Bath v Harlequins 22 | 12
PREMIERSHIP
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Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 15 11 1 3 55
Saracens 15 10 1 4 49
Exeter Chiefs 15 8 3 4 49
Bath 15 10 0 5 47
Leicester Tigers 15 9 0 6 43
Harlequins 15 8 0 7 37
Newcastle Falcons 15 7 0 8 36
Northampton Saints 15 7 0 8 35
Gloucester 15 5 2 8 34
Sale Sharks 15 5 1 9 29
Worcester Warriors 15 3 2 10 19
Bristol 15 2 0 13 13