Boyd salutes Ribbans after Saints lock hits half-century in style

David Ribbans scored as Saints beat Saracens on his 50th competitive appearance in Northampton colours
David Ribbans scored as Saints beat Saracens on his 50th competitive appearance in Northampton colours

Saints boss Chris Boyd paid tribute to David Ribbans after the lock's huge showing against Saracens at Allianz Park.

Ribbans reached a half-century of Northampton appearances in the Gallagher Premiership opener.

And he celebrated in style, scoring a first-half try and helping Saints to secure a superb 27-25 win.

Ribbans has now scored four tries in his past three matches, having registered one in the Premiership Cup defeat to Wasps and two in the victory at Leicester Tigers.

And Boyd said: "Dave Ribbans has been outstanding in the last two weeks.

"He scored two tries against Leicester and if you look at a lock's all-round game - set-piece work, clean-out work, carry work, defensive work - he can do all of it.

"He's a really good athlete and he's developed a nice tough edge.

"He's an important part of the cog for us, along with Moony (Alex Moon) and Alex Coles, who is just a youngster and had to shift from lock to six.

"We lost Teimana Harrison and Heinrich Brüssow (to injuries) 24 hours before kick-off and we had to shuffle around.

"We had an 19-year-old (JJ Tonks) playing seven even though he'd never played there before because he normally plays at six or eight.

"So for them to grind out a victory was really good."

Saints outscored Saracens three tries to one, with Ribbans, Rory Hutchinson and Henry Taylor dotting down for the away side.

And Boyd said: "We've got enough talent, enthusiasm and ability if we get opportunities to score tries.

"I was also really impressed with the steel we showed in defence and you've got to be good on both sides of the ball.

"We were guilty last year of being pretty good with the ball but a bit soft when the other guys had it.

"If we can find some steel in defence to go along with the optimism of our attack, we'll do okay."

Saints are now preparing to host Worcester Warriors on Saturday.

And Boyd said: "They had an impressive victory against Leicester at the weekend.

"I think right from one to 12, the league this year is going to be tighter than it was last year.

"Every point counts."