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- Aviva Premiership
- 20th Apr 2014
- KO 14:00
- Ground: Franklin's Gardens
- Att: 13,100
Aviva Premiership: Jim Mallinder says Northampton need to be better
We need to be better than that when we come up against the big sides.
Quotes of the week
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder admitted his players need to be better when they reach the Aviva Premiership play-offs after watching his side "switch off" and nearly throw away victory in their 36-21 win over London Irish.
With two tries from Jamie Elliott and one each from Kahn Fotuali'i and Salesi Ma'afu, Northampton were cruising at 29-0, but three quick second half tries from Andrew Fenby, Shane Geraghty and Jebb Sinclair saw London Irish give the home side a real scare.
Marland Yarde's 60-metre score would have made it 29-28 in the final 10 minutes, but the TMO ruled Tom Homer's pass was forward.
The five points keeps Northampton seven points clear of third-placed Bath and on course for a home semi-final, but a relieved Mallinder said: "We need to be better than that when we come up against the big sides.
"At half-time we spoke about keeping that intensity to our game and we did for the first 10 minutes. We got the fourth try and then we seemed to switch off, getting turned over twice in the final third and seeing them go the distance - and then it gets a bit squeaky.
"It is really disappointing as it was a game which could have been a convincing win, but ends up being in the balance.
"I was delighted to see the referee refer the Yarland 'try'. We were very grateful to see it called forward."
Mallinder confirmed replacement hooker Matt Williams, who was carried off on a stretcher, had broken his leg, which therefore leaves him with just one fit hooker in Ross McMillan. Mike Haywood and Dylan Hartley are both injured, though Mallinder said the England hooker might be back for the clash at Bath in two weeks when he hopes to have Alex Corbisiero back as well after a lengthy lay-off.
London Irish boss Brian Smith had no complaints about the TMO ruling out Yarde's try or referee JP Doyle not going upstairs for a questionable grounding in Elliott's first try.
"I thought the pass was marginal, so I don't have too many complaints," said Smith. "Some days you get the tick and some days you get the cross. We were playing away so it was understandable we got the cross today.
"I understand there might have been some problems with the grounding in the first try, that is a matter for the referee and TMO. If the TV are showing it is wrong then that is a learning point for him and you just role with the punches. We just hope at the end of the season we get as many good calls as bad calls.
"We rallied really well in the second half, but we can't be happy with the first half. We made lots of skill errors and they feasted on them."
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|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle Falcons vs Leicester Tigers|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 26th April|
|14:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Saturday 9th May|
|14:00||Sale vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Wasps 32 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Exeter 16 - 6 Bath|
|Saracens 22 - 17 Newcastle Falcons|
|Leicester Tigers 28 - 8 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 12 - 50 London Irish|
|Friday 27th February|
|Northampton 17 - 13 Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com