Mallinder: It would be ridiculous to get carried away by Saints’ winning start

KEEPING COOL - Jim Mallinder isn't getting carried away by Saints' strong start to the season (picture by Sharon Lucey)
KEEPING COOL - Jim Mallinder isn't getting carried away by Saints' strong start to the season (picture by Sharon Lucey)
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Jim Mallinder is refusing to get carried away after seeing Saints start the Premiership season with two successive wins.

Mallinder steered his men to a 13-6 success at Harlequins on Friday night, a venue Northampton had not won at since September, 2010.

The victory came six days after the 38-11 demolition of Exeter Chiefs at Franklin’s Gardens and puts Saints second in the embryonic league table.

But Mallinder was quick to play down the hype surrounding his team and is instead focusing on Saturday’s tricky trip to Gloucester.

“We can’t (get carried away),” he said. “It would be ridiculous. It’s only two games that we’ve played.

“It’s fantastic to go to Harlequins and win because they’ve got aspirations to win the Premiership, like we have.

“It’s good, we got our win but we’ve got Gloucester away on Saturday and we’ll focus on that.”

Friday’s win at Harlequins was made all the more impressive by the conditions in which it was played, with a pre-game downpour stopping the rugby flowing.

Consequently it was a tough night for the half-backs, one of whom was Kahn Fotuali’i the Samoan scrum-half making his first Premiership start for Saints.

But Mallinder was impressed with the performance of his summer recruit from Ospreys, feeling Fotuali’i handled the slippery Stoop test well.

“He played well,” said the Saints boss. “It was very difficult for half-backs in those conditions and you saw some quality play from all of them.

“Credit to (Harlequins pair) Danny Care and to Nick Evans. They controlled the game well in the first half.

“Evans was a massive threat in terms of his kicking game. He put us under pressure, but we managed to keep Kahn out a lot of the time and drop our blindside wingers to counter that.

“Kahn played well in difficult conditions and I’m pleased Lee Dickson could then come on and finish well.”