Boyd feels belief is starting to flow at Saints after Exeter success

Chris Boyd saw Saints slay Exeter (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Chris Boyd saw Saints slay Exeter (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Chris Boyd says the belief is starting to flow at Saints after they saw off table-topping Exeter Chiefs at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night.

The black, green and gold claimed a bonus-point 31-28 win to finish 2018 with a flourish and elevate themselves to fourth in the Gallagher Premiership standings.

Tries from Piers Francis, Dan Biggar, Fraser Dingwall and Cobus Reinach, allied with four Biggar conversions and a penalty, got the job done at a noisy Gardens.

Exeter had levelled the scores at 14-14 and 21-21, but Saints kept fighting and eventually earned a fantastic victory in front of a sell-out crowd.

And Boyd, who arrived at Northampton from Super Rugby side the Hurricanes during the summer, said: “We’re getting better at it all the time.

“We had patches early in the season where we’d have a good 20 minutes and a bad 30 minutes and it hasn’t always gone to plan.

“But one thing I can’t fault this group about is that they work hard and they always try hard.

“We’re getting our heads around things and it’s going to take a bit of time to come right and we’re certainly not there yet, but it’s going in the right direction.

“One of the things we’ve lacked is the belief and hopefully that’s starting to come.”

One problem for Saints against Exeter - and in the previous week’s largely impressive win at Worcester Warriors - was the scrum.

Boyd’s side were overpowered in that department, with Alex Waller eventually paying the price with a sin-binning.

Exeter were also able to register a penalty try from a scrum close to the Saints line, with referee Ian Tempest not finding in the home side’s favour.

“There’s a lot of positives for us and a couple of negatives,” Boyd said.

“The scrum wasn’t up to scratch and we were really disappointed to concede that last try (which Matt Kvesic scored from a lineout drive after the clock hit 80 minutes).

“There’s some disappointments among a whole lot of good stuff.”