Mallinder heaps praise on Myler
March 11, 2011
Leeds' Luther Burrell makes a dent in the Northampton defence © Getty Images
Northampton head coach Jim Mallinder praised fly-half Stephen Myler after his superb performance earned the Saints a 23-13 win at Leeds Carnegie which sent them back into the top four of the Aviva Premiership.
The fly-half scored 18 points, including a try, to help end Northampton's six-match losing streak at Headingley. Mallinder said: "There were lots of questions asked of him particularly over the last few weeks and he played well. He scored a try, kicked his points, not easy penalties, and you need somebody who will keep the scoreboard ticking over."
The Saints were also boosted by the return of scrum-half Lee Dixon from injury, and Mallinder was pleased to see hi partnership with Myler.
"When Lee Dixon plays he gives real energy and tempo to the side and I think he did that today," he added. "I think that some of our attacking play looked a lot sharper and we got on the front foot and created quite a lot of opportunities."
The club will also see the return of their international players from the RBS 6 Nations in time for their next league game as they push for a play-off place.
"We have lost a couple of games before with internationals so it wasn't all about them being here or not being here," Mallinder said. "We knew we'd got a good enough side to win today, we worked really hard in the week. We're pleased that we've got through this little part of our season and what we need to do now is build on it with gusto."
Leeds remain rooted to the foot of the table having played a game more than their nearest challengers the Newcastle Falcons. A try from Danny Paul and eight points from the boot of fly-half Adrian Jarvis were not enough to prevent yet another defeat. But head coach Neil Back was not impressed with referee Chris White.
"The tackle contest was very interesting in the interpretation and it negated either side having quick ball so it was a problem," he said. "The law states the tackler must release and not stay on the ball and that didn't happen but it slowed the ball down for both sides and made it fragmented and difficult.
"Also the scrum was an issue as well when the scrum goes round 90 degrees it's either a penalty or it's opposition ball and it was a reset."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
After Brian O'Driscoll's emotional final Ireland appearance on home soil, and seeing the Six Nations boil down to a three-horse race, we bring you the Weekend in PIctures
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year