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."

Free State Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls
sast: 16h00 | local: 16h00

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Sat, 22 October 2016
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 12h00 Thomond Park
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 14h00 Bloemfontein
Clermont Auvergne v Bordeaux 14h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Castres v Northampton Saints 15h15 Stade Pierre Antoine
Saracens v Scarlets 16h30 Allianz Park
Ulster v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sun, 23 October 2016
Montpellier v Leinster 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Toulouse v Wasps 15h15 Le Mans
Zebre v Connacht 15h15 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Leicester Tigers v Racing Metro 16h30 Welford Road
Fri, 28 October 2016
Ulster v Munster 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Edinburgh v Zebre 18h35 BT Murrayfield
Cardiff Blues v Scarlets 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Northampton Saints v Gloucester 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 22 October 2016
New Zealand v Australia 37 | 10
Fri, 21 October 2016
Sale Sharks v Toulon 5 | 15
Sun, 16 October 2016
Exeter Chiefs v Clermont Auvergne 8 | 35
Bordeaux v Ulster 28 | 13
Sat, 15 October 2016
Scarlets v Sale Sharks 28 | 11
Connacht v Toulouse 23 | 21
Northampton Saints v Montpellier 16 | 14
Blue Bulls v Western Province 36 | 30
Toulon v Saracens 23 | 31
Leinster v Castres 33 | 15
Free State Cheetahs v Golden Lions 55 | 17
Wasps v Zebre 82 | 14
Fri, 14 October 2016
Glasgow Warriors v Leicester Tigers 42 | 13
Sun, 09 October 2016
Saracens v Wasps 30 | 14
Sat, 08 October 2016
Scarlets v Dragons 31 | 27
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 5 0 1 25
Wasps 6 5 0 1 23
Bath 6 5 0 1 22
Leicester Tigers 6 4 0 2 19
Exeter Chiefs 6 2 1 3 15
Newcastle Falcons 6 3 0 3 14
Sale Sharks 6 2 1 3 13
Harlequins 6 3 0 3 12
Northampton Saints 6 2 0 4 11
Gloucester 6 1 1 4 11
Worcester Warriors 6 1 2 3 9
Bristol 6 0 0 6 2