Opposition view: Gustard says Quins pinpointed Saints' breakdown struggles

Paul GustardPaul Gustard
Paul Gustard
Harlequins boss Paul Gustard has outlined how his side targeted Saints at the breakdown on Sunday afternoon.

Quins were able to win penalties on the floor, aiding their victory bid as they bagged a 30-17 Gallagher Premiership success at The Stoop.

Gustard named Chris Robshaw at six and Will Evans at seven.

And he said: "They (Saints) give away a lot of turnovers at the first few breakdowns.

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"They're one of the most penalised teams and one who come away with the most turnovers in the first three phases so we picked two sevens.

"I thought Will Evans was outstanding but there were a lot of side entries it felt to me so we probably didn't get the rewards we felt we deserved.

"But certainly the breakdown and in the contact areas I thought we were better, up to the last 15, 18 minutes."

Former Saints wing Chris Ashton delivered what proved to be the knockout punch for Quins as he performed his trademark 'Ash Splash' after notching the home side's bonus-point try.

And Gustard said: “Chris is a senior international player.

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"He might not be in Eddie Jones’ England plans at the moment but he’s still a Test match wing and is a proven try scorer.

“He’s got a voice, is very vocal around the training group and drives up standards. He has a huge competitive side.

“You certainly know he’s around the place. He can score and dive and do whatever he wants to do because he can score points – I don’t mind him diving.”

Quins are now just three points behind sixth-placed Saints with five league games to go.

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“The spine of the team played well and when the spine plays well you get some direction in the attack and that gives us field position and a threat with the ball in hand and then the result,” Gustard said.

“Things change fast in the Premiership. The last two weeks we’ve been juggling squads and trying to prepare a team and get some cohesion.

“It didn’t quite work out as we wanted against Worcester, the first 40 minutes were the poorest performance I’ve seen as a coach. But we got it right in this game and we put on a dominant performance.”

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