Saints must learn quickly after Saracens defeat, says Mallinder

Jim Mallinder saw his side suffer a big defeat at Twickenham (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Jim Mallinder saw his side suffer a big defeat at Twickenham (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder has told Saints to learn quickly after they suffered a painful opening-day defeat against Saracens at Twickenham.

Mallinder's men conceded nine tries as they were humbled 55-24 in the south-west London sunshine.

Saracens scored seven before the break, racing into a 41-3 half-time lead, with only Harry Mallinder's penalty preventing a complete first-40 whitewash.

Lewis Ludlam and Tom Wood, who registered twice, scored after the break to at least give the Saints supporters something to shout about.

But the game was already gone and Mallinder was left to reflect on a hugely disappointing first day in this season's Aviva Premiership.

"We've had a good pre-season, a positive week, so what we've got to do is quickly learn and move on," said Mallinder, who saw his side win all four of their pre-season friendlies.

"We talked at half-time about winning the second half and looking for small gains, and we did that.

"We scored a few tries, we know the game was over, but we talked about getting that fourth try to come away with the bonus point. With a little more accuracy, we probably should have done that.

"We could have come away with something, not many sides come away from Saracens away with much, we haven't, but next week is big for us.

"We need to be better."

Saints face Leicester Tigers next Saturday, knowing a big reaction is needed at Franklin's Gardens.

But for now they must reflect on a display that left a lot to be desired.

"You think you've had a good season, you think you've prepared properly with purpose and challenged yourself with good games, at Glasgow and at home to Ulster, and we thought we could have a good season and were ready for it," Mallinder said. "But obviously we weren't.

"In the first half, Saracens were clinical in everything they did, with their turnovers and putting us under pressure.

"They scored at will and we just didn't react well enough to those 50/50 balls, and it shows when you're playing a team as good as Saracens."