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Aviva Premiership Northampton's Jim Mallinder upbeat after victory over Worcester.
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Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder had few complaints after the 30-14 win over bottom side Worcester despite the Saints missing out on a bonus point.
Saints made hard work of the first half before out-muscling a Warriors side who saw their captain Jonathan Thomas sent off in the second half.
Indeed Worcester were down to 13 men at one point with Sam Betty in the sin-bin and team-mate Leonardo Senatore was also yellow carded in the first half.
But after seeing 15 points from Stephen Myler's boot, a penalty try and two GJ van Velze tries take his side back to the top of the Premiership, Mallinder was a happy man.
"We're top of the league, which is a pretty good place to be to be honest," he said.
"It's (difficult) in international weeks when we've got a number of our best players missing and a number of them still injured as well.
"It's slightly frustrating that we couldn't get the bonus point in the last few minutes, but very pleasing we're still in winning ways.
"They picked a big, heavy pack and stopped us mauling, legally or not, but they stopped us.
"We knew that like when we went down to Worcester earlier this season, that if we kept moving the ball and kept playing decent rugby the gaps would appear, and so it proved."
With Newcastle picking up a point in defeat to Harlequins, Worcester are now 11 points adrift at the foot of the table
Prepared to fight
Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan said: "We didn't get anything out of it, but we did as a group in terms of showing we were prepared to fight. We move on to next week.
"We've got a challenge here this season with this group. I know what next season looks like, but I'm interested in the people here at the moment and they did a good job today.
"We didn't get anything out of it this week, but we've got a home game next week and if we keep turning in emotional performances like this one and the one last week we're going to cause someone a problem soon.
"If we get one win then everyone else is going to start looking behind them and we'll go from there."
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|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
|Saturday 4th October|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Northampton|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Leicester|
|Sunday 5th October|
|14:00||Sale vs Wasps|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|Friday 10th October|
|19:45||Leicester vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 11th October|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Saracens vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Irish|
|15:15||Northampton vs Sale|
|Sunday 12th October|
|14:00||Wasps vs Bath|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
|Wasps 20 - 16 Northampton|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Exeter 20 - 24 Leicester|
|Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale Sharks|
|Bath 53 - 26 London Welsh|
|Friday 12th September|
|Harlequins 0 - 39 Saracens|
|Sunday 7th September|
|London Welsh 0 - 52 Exeter|
|Saturday 6th September|
|London Irish 15 - 20 Harlequins|
|Leicester 36 - 17 Newcastle|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 29 Bath|
|Saracens 34 - 28 Wasps|
|Friday 5th September|
|Northampton 53 - 6 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com