'I feel for them' - Boyd has sympathy for Bristol after big Saints win
Saints boss Chris Boyd admits he felt for Bristol Bears during his side's dominant 36-20 win at Ashton Gate on Friday night.
Saints were totally dominant at the scrum, securing a huge amount of penalties in that department as they laid the platform for a 36-20 Gallagher Premiership victory.
But Boyd had sympathy for a Bears side who were without tighthead props Kyle Sinckler and John Afoa, and who lost Max Lahiff to injury in the 47th minute of the match.
"It was tough for them," Boyd said.
"We've been on the end of a scrum performance like that where you can't get your scrum going.
"It makes it really difficult for the other side because we were playing under advantage and that makes it easier to play.
"On their ball we were either getting a penalty or upsetting them so they weren't able to launch.
"At the end of the day, unfortunately for them it was difficult on the day.
"It was tough for them in respect that they had John Afoa and Kyle Sincker both injured on the tighthead and Max Lahiff got injured quite early on.
"They had a loosehead who had to go to tighthead and it progressively got worse.
"I feel for them in that respect because we've been on the end of one of those in the past but you don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
"You've got to take the opportunity that exists and turn it into some positives."
Saints certainly did that as Tommy Freeman, who scored twice, Paul Hill and George Furbank all dotted down to end their side's four-match losing streak in style.
"It was really good to get the full five points here tonight," Boyd said.
"The last couple of times we've played Bristol we've been in positions to win the game but they've finished really strongly and got over the top of us.
"So to have to come back from a slow start at the start of both halves and wrestle the initiative and keep control of it was very pleasing.
"Five points ticks the box on the outcome point of view and it's a performance we'll be pretty happy with."
When asked whether it was Saints' best showing of the season so far, Boyd said: "Possibly.
"Exeter at Exeter was a pretty decent performance as well.
"It's the first time we actually felt like we were playing the way we coach them.
"You could come to a coaching session and what you saw on the field there was what you would see on a training field as well.
"It was nice we could plan stuff, organise stuff and it came off.
"At the end of the day, we talked before the game and said we'd get enough opportunities if we kept knocking on the door.
"They're a very dangerous side with ball in hand and we had to work hard and defend well.
"We kept knocking the door down and it swung open a couple of times to get that bonus point as well, which was great."