Rugby Union

Jim Mallinder pleased with Northampton's defensive strength

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Northampton head coach Jim Mallinder praised his side's defensive organisation when down to 14 men as they claimed a 26-15 win away to PRO12 champions Glasgow Warriors in the European Champions Cup.

Mallinder highlighted his side's response to the 58th minute sin-binning of centre Luther Burrell and the try his side conceded immediately afterwards as key to the victory.

"The way the 14 on the pitch organised our defence thereafter was crucial to our win," he said.

He added: "I was very pleased with how we defended. We kept them out - well mostly."

Glasgow scored a try in each half, but were always chasing the game after Saints had raced into an 18-3 lead. The visitors finished the match with three tries.

"With our defence in place we took our chances," said Mallinder.

Opposite number Gregor Townsend remained philosophical about the defeat.

He pointed to the first two Northampton tries, for George Pisi and Ahsee Tuala, who crossed twice in the match, which he felt his side gave away far too easily.

"Usually opponents only achieve scores after multi-phase play. Tonight the scores came after a grubber that came back off a post and a high ball that wasn't dealt with and bounced anywhere," he said.

On his side's hopes of progression, he added: "Before this game I said we would have to win four if not five games and that hasn't changed. It does mean that we have to go and win at Northampton and the boys will be really determined to do so."

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