Jim Mallinder, the Director of Rugby of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Northampton Saints insists the club is not down and out despite suffering back to back defeats for the first time this season.
The Jimmies suffered a 19-6 thrashing at the hands of the high flying Sale Sharks last weekend and went down to the Exeter Chiefs the previous weekend in the final of the LV=Cup at Sandy Park. And speaking to BBC Radio Northampton, Mallinder stated that they have some great players but they were off the pace against the Sharks which cost them the match.
He also stated that the team didn’t have much time together to work on tactics after the defeat to the Chiefs the previous weekend. Mallinder saw his side succumb to their first defeat in the Aviva Premiership in twelve games and although he has six players back from international duty after the Six Nations Championship, Mallinder stated that he didn’t have all his squad players for the last eight weeks and as a result, they didn’t gel.
The Northampton Saints boss stated that Luther Burrell had been playing on the outside for quite some time and the same can be said about many other players and these players, having to play out of position, were caught a bit out of their depths.
But he hailed the overall performance of the team considering that most of the players had not been together for quite some time.
Mallinder went on to add that the Northampton Saints are still in a strong position to qualify for the playoff semifinals and they will hopefully come good and end up with a home semifinal in the playoffs. It all comes down to the next few matches which will decide whether he is right or not.