Mallinder buoyed by Saints win
December 18, 2011
Northampton's Courtney Lawes cops a high shot during the game at Franklin's Gardens © Getty Images
Northampton boss Jim Mallinder set his sights on qualifying for the Amlin Challenge Cup after watching his side pick up their first win in Heineken Cup Pool 1 by hammering Castres 45-0 on Sunday.
The Saints ran in six tries at Franklin's Gardens, with Ben Foden helping himself to a brace and Vasily Artemyev, Mike Haywood and Greig Tonks all crossing once as they climbed above their visitors and into third place in the group, on eight points.
"That win gives us a chance to make it into the Amlin Challenge Cup but we will need a couple of good wins against tough sides [Munster and Scarlets] to have a chance of getting there," Mallinder said.
"[But] We are focusing on our next three league games against Bath, Newcastle and Quins and are aiming for three victories."
Indeed, Mallinder is hoping that the comprehensive nature of the defeat will lift his side after last weekend's disappointing defeat by Castres at the Stade Pierre Antoine.
"I'm pleased with our performance," he said. "I was disappointed last week, we attacked well but our discipline and defence was poor. At half-time I told them not to get frustrated and we needed to be a little more accurate."
Meanwhile, Castres coach was not too downhearted, hinting that the outcome of the game was of no great concern to his under-strength side.
"Northampton had points to prove," he said. "They conceded 40 points at ours last week and are not Heineken Cup finalists for nothing. We defended well for an hour but, once their first try went in we had no answers and it was just too difficult."
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