Diggin backs Saints for cup glory
January 14, 2011
Northampton's Paul Diggin, Joe Ansboro and Stuart Commins celebrate a score © Getty Images
Four-try hero Paul Diggin believes Northampton can go on and win the Heineken Cup after his scoring exploits propelled the Saints to a 37-0 victory over Edinburgh that secured top spot in Pool 1 and made them the first side to secure a quarter-final place.
It was hardly a vintage display from the Saints, who entered the game on the back of successive Premiership defeats to Harlequins and Leicester, but it was more than good enough against a poor visiting side. Saints had led 18-0 with just nine minutes to play thanks to tries from Diggin and prop Brian Mujati, plus eight points from the boot of fly-half Stephen Myler. But Diggin then ran in three late tries as the Saints cut loose to delight the Franklin's Gardens crowd.
And the three-quarter believes Northampton can go all the way to tasting European glory at the Millennium Stadium in May. "I've actually scored five tries for the club before, against Sedgley Park in Division One," he said. "The pack are unbelievable providing Stephen Myler with an armchair ride. We have been to the big arenas now so we don't fear anyone. We can win this tournament as the competition for places is so fierce."
Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder paid tribute to the display of Diggin, whose contribution at the club is often overlooked given his wing partner is usually England star Chris Ashton. "He's not the fastest in the league but he gets in some very good positions and understands the game, he played very well tonight," he said. "Our defence was good, our set-piece was much improved but in the middle part of the game our accuracy let us down. We are delighted to be in the quarter-finals, it's a great step for the club and we'll try and get a home semi-final."
Edinburgh coach Rob Moffat admitted his side had been outplayed. "Northampton had too much control," he said. "They pressurised us into making too many mistakes. We panicked and made a whole lot of errors. They have a good pack at the top of their game. It was always going to be difficult coming here and we gave away a couple of soft tries. We created a bit in the first half but we made mistakes at crucial times when we looked threatening."
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