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Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder insists his side can improve despite fifth straight win

Last updated: 28th September 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder insists his side can improve despite fifth straight win

Jim Mallinder: Is confident his side can improve despite securing five straight wins

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Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder is adamant his side have not yet hit top gear despite starting the Aviva Premiership season with five straight wins.

The Saints claimed a 24-6 victory over Wasps at Franklin's Gardens on Friday to continue their perfect start to the campaign.

Northampton are enjoying their best ever start to a Premiership season but Mallinder says there are still areas that need to be worked on.

"It is pleasing to win five out of five, but I don't think we have really reached top gear. There is still a little bit more to come from us," he said.

"We defended well to keep them out, but attacking-wise we could sharpen up in a few areas. If we can do that then I am sure we can put some teams to the sword.

"There was a 10- to 15-minute period when we should have scored. Soane Tonga'uiha went through the middle at one stage, then James Wilson (scorer of two tries) had a chance to use his 6ft 4in frame and get a hat-trick.

"We probably wasted a couple of chances there. I would have loved a bonus point, but overall I am happy with the win."

Stepping in

Wilson was stepping in for Ben Foden, who is a long-term injury victim, and Mallinder has been delighted with the way the New Zealander and a raft of new signings have settled into the club.

He added: "Quite a lot of people questioned us in terms of players leaving and whether we could cope.

"The players have come in, Luther Burrell and Dominic Waldouck are playing well as is Rhys Oakley and they are fitting into the way we like to play the game and we are winning rugby matches, which is what it is all about."

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young revealed wing James Bailey was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg after being carried off on a stretcher 17 minutes into his first start for the club.

Prop Tim Payne was sin-binned on his 250th appearance for the club, with some believing it should have been a red card after the television match official caught him dropping a knee on Vasily Artemyev.

Young said: "We will have a good look at it. That is what they are there for. If that is a yellow card offence you are going to take it."

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TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 5th September
Aviva Premiership
19:45Northampton vs Gloucester
Saturday 6th September
14:00Sale vs Bath
14:00Saracens vs Wasps
15:00Leicester vs Newcastle
16:30London Irish vs Harlequins
Sunday 7th September
14:00London Welsh vs Exeter
Friday 12th September
19:45Harlequins vs Saracens
Saturday 13th September
15:00Gloucester vs Sale
15:00Bath vs London Welsh
15:15Exeter vs Leicester
Sunday 14th September
14:00Wasps vs Northampton
15:00Newcastle vs London Irish
Friday 19th September
19:45Gloucester vs Exeter
Saturday 20th September
14:00Sale vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Wasps
15:00London Irish vs Saracens
15:15Bath vs Leicester
Sunday 21st September
14:00Newcastle vs Northampton
Friday 26th September
19:45London Welsh vs Gloucester
Saturday 27th September
15:00Leicester vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Sale
15:15Northampton vs Bath
Sunday 28th September
14:00Wasps vs Newcastle
14:00Exeter vs Harlequins
Friday 3rd October
19:45Bath vs Saracens

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