Mallinder delights in Saints' triumph
September 17, 2010
Northampton's Christian Day offers his thoughts on the game%]
Northampton boss Jim Mallinder hailed his side's 31-10 victory over Bath at Franklin's Gardens as one of their best in recent memory.
The Saints cruised to a bonus-point win in a game which had pitted the Aviva Premiership's only unbeaten sides together at kick-off, with Phil Dowson and Joe Ansbro scoring tries either side of a brace from England wing Chris Ashton.
"That performance was right up there with our best," he said. "The first half was exciting when Bath looked dangerous but we did well not to concede a try.
"The difference came in the opening period of the second half. The forwards got totally on top; we totally dominated in the scrums. Some of our driving play was excellent and we got some good quality quick ball. I'm delighted to have won this game but we won't get carried away."
There were a couple of injury concerns for Mallinder though, as Ashton and Ben Foden picked up knocks and the Saints boss confirmed they will be assessed in the week.
Bath captain Luke Watson reflects on his side's loss%]
Bath boss Steve Meehan was disappointed with his side's patchy showing, admitting that they learned a few harsh lessons in front of a packed crowd.
"That performance was way short of our standards and it's a very early wake-up call in the season," he said. "Everybody was well motivated, we had a good warm-up but we lost the physical battle especially at the breakdown. It was very disappointing. For the first 20 minutes of the second half we couldn't control the ball at all and at times our defence was non-existent."
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay