Coach West admits Saints were fired up by criticism

WINNING SMILES - Dylan Hartley (left) and Ben Foden enjoy Saints' win at Worcester (Pictures: Linda Dawson)

WINNING SMILES - Dylan Hartley (left) and Ben Foden enjoy Saints' win at Worcester (Pictures: Linda Dawson)

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Forwards coach Dorian West says Saints used recent criticism as motivation for their 27-18 win at Worcester Warriors.

Northampton excelled up front as they claimed a crucial victory at Sixways, scoring two tries during a powerful second-half performance.

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

It was the perfect response after the 27-11 defeat against Gloucester seven days earlier, which inspired doubts about Saints’ ability to finish in the Premiership top four.

And West was delighted with the display of his side, who were back to their best up front in a fine display on a poor pitch.

“We enjoyed that performance, particularly in the second half,” he said. “We talked about controlling the game and realising what style of play we needed on a pretty shocking pitch to be honest.

“We managed to do that in the second half. We worked hard for each other and we took our chances when they came.

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

“We’d been written off, which we quite like, people saying how rubbish we are.

“We know what we’re like as a team, we create a lot of chances and the difference is today we finished the chances we created.”

Saints had gone in at half-time 12-9 down as Andy Goode edged ahead of Stephen Myler in the kicking stakes.

But Myler won the day, landing 17 points in total, as the away side surged to victory after the interval.

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

“We probably played a little bit too much in the first half and that’s something we talked about at half-time,” said West.

“You can’t be expecting your backs to run and step and be all silky on a pitch like that.

“It’s an old-fashioned pitch that’s built for mauling and scrumming and that’s where we got our points from.”