Mallinder bemoans Saints' indiscipline
December 10, 2011
Northampton's Jamie Elliott is taken out by Castres captain Chris Masoe during the game in France © Getty Images
Northampton boss Jim Mallinder admitted that his side only had themselves to blame after losing two men to the sin bin during their 41-22 defeat by Castres at the Stade Pierre Antoine on Saturday afternoon.
After losing to both Munster and Scarlets, the Saints knew that they had to win in France to keep their qualification hopes alive but they ended up playing 20 minutes of the game with just 14 men because of yellow cards for Stephen Myler and Tom Wood in either half.
That Northampton actually registered four tries during the game only made the loss all the more frustrating for Mallinder.
"We wanted to play rugby and move a big Castres side around and I thought we did that very well," Mallinder said. "But this was always going to be a big challenge and it is always going to be hard when you have to defend for 20 minutes with 14 men.
"When you have two yellow cards you have to ask 'why?' I don't want to question the referees but we have had the same problem against Munster and we have to look at why.
"The yellow card for Steve Myler and a high tackle was a close one but we just aren't getting those decisions at the moment.
"It was too much for us but I was happy with our attacking play, but we obviously have work to do on our set-piece and particularly our restarts which were a problem for us all game."
Their hopes of now reaching the last eight are all but over but Mallinder insists that there will be no let-up in intensity in Northampton's three remaining fixtures in Pool 1.
"We are out of the competition and that is hard and we are playing for pride now," the said. "Next week [the return leg] is all about that and we will work hard and go out and play hard like we always do in all competitions. That won't change.
"We had some young players out there and they would have learned a lot from the experience they have had out here."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Gentlemen, if you want to see the World Cup going south yet again, you are going the right way about it," John Taylor looks at the state of European rugby
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring