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."

There are currently no matches being played
Tue, 06 October 2015
Canada v Romania 15h45 Leicester
Fiji v Uruguay 19h00 Milton Keynes
Wed, 07 October 2015
South Africa v United States 15h45 London
Namibia v Georgia 19h00 Exeter
Fri, 09 October 2015
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Team P W D L Pts
Northampton Saints 22 16 1 5 76
Bath 22 16 0 6 75
Leicester Tigers 22 15 1 6 68
Saracens 22 14 1 7 68
Exeter Chiefs 22 14 0 8 68
Wasps 22 11 2 9 61
Sale Sharks 22 11 0 11 54
Harlequins 22 10 0 12 49
Gloucester 22 9 1 12 48
London Irish 22 7 1 14 40
Newcastle Falcons 22 5 1 16 34
London Welsh 22 0 0 22 1