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Match reaction: Gloucester Rugby 33 Northampton Saints 33

Match reaction: Gloucester Rugby 33 Northampton Saints 33

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys has called on his side to find an 80-minute performance after Stephen Myler held his nerve to salvage a draw at Kingsholm for Northampton.

Gloucester got the better of the Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders in the first half as Charlie Sharples and Richard Hibbard crossed over.

But a James Wilson double after the break – either side of Gloucester’s third try, through Dan Murphy – saw Saints fly back into it and after Samu Manoa’s last-gasp try, Myler struck over the final conversion for a 33-33 draw.

"I think it'll not be for a couple of days when we get a chance to sit down and review it that we'll be able to take a huge number of positives from that and from the way we played,” said Humphreys.

"We're still searching for that 80-minute performance that will allow us to win games against the top teams.

"With a 23-9 lead, we've got to control the momentum and pace of the game, so maybe that was the time to slow it down.

"It's really the first time we've been in that position and I've no doubt we'll learn from that as a group."

Saints No.10 Myler – who collected 18 points from the tee – admitted this clash was never likely to follow the same pattern as Northampton’s 53-6 thrashing of the Cherry & Whites on the season’s opening weekend.

“It was a strange day really, kicking-wise,” said Myler. “It was very windy and it’s never nice when you are stood there with the ball wobbling on the tee.

“It can play tricks on you so you have just got to stick to your process. We are relieved to have got a draw at the end of the day.

“The first half as a whole is not what we expect of ourselves and not good enough. We are unbelievably proud of the character we showed to get ourselves back into the game but we don’t feel like it’s a win.

“We have got to do better than that and going forward, for the rest of the season, we know we can do better than that.

“The game we had against them earlier in the season was going to be no reflection on what was going to happen today. Teams like Gloucester have got great players who are always going to have spells like that.

“We contributed to our own downfall and that’s what we are aiming to put right.”

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder added: "We showed what a good side we are in that second half. We talked about getting our balance right, and we played some good rugby.

"We got two cracking tries out wide from James Wilson, then to be able to go to the maul at the death and get that score just shows we have got threats all over the field.

"You can't come down to Kingsholm and play as we did in the first-half. They are a proud team and it is a proud rugby city, and we made some fundamental mistakes in terms of our game-management."
 
Gloucester: McColl (Burns 62); Sharples (Purdy 49), Meakes, Twelvetrees, May; Hook, Laidlaw; Murphy (Thomas 57), Hibbard (Dawidiuk 67), Afoa; Savage (Stooke 53), Palmer, Kalamafoni (Moriarty 27), Kvesic, Evans
Replacements not used: Puafisi, Robson
 
Northampton Saints:
 Wilson (Tuala 67); K Pisi, G Pisi, Stephenson, Elliott; Myler, Fotuali'i (Dickinson 53); Corbisiero (Waller 57), Haywood, Ma'afu (Denman 49), Lawes, Day (Dickson 50), Wood, Clark (Dowson 64), Manoa
Replacements not used: Williams, Olver
 
Referee: Greg Garner
 
Scorers
 
Gloucester
Tries Sharples, Hibbard, Murphy
Conversions Laidlaw 3
Penalties Laidlaw 4
 
Northampton  
Tries Wilson 2, Manoa
Conversions Myler 3
Penalties Myler 4

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