TOP BAR - Fixtures

Northampton Saints only need minor fixes

Minor fixes will be enough to get Northampton Saints back to winning ways, according to prop Alex Waller.

Jim Mallinder’s men dropped out of the Aviva Premiership Rugby top four with a loss at Wasps on Sunday.

With two defeats in their last three matches Saints sit fifth in the table, four points behind bitter rivals Leicester Tigers with their next Aviva Premiership Rugby fixture pitting the two against each other at Franklin’s Gardens.

Waller and his teammates have analysed the weekend’s bruising 28-6 defeat and  the front-rower said small tweaks will make all the difference.

He said: “Aspects of the game actually went quite well if you look at the videos, we had certain opportunities where we let them slip when we could have scored a few tries.

“There were a few areas we could have tightened up in defence where they capitalised.

“So I think if we put a few bits right then it wouldn’t have been such a wide margin between the teams.

“It was obviously a disappointment but we will be looking to put that right.”

Saints beat top-of-the-table Saracens last month but a loss to second-placed Exeter Chiefs and last weekend’s Wasps defeat have left Mallinder’s men needing to beat Leicester to have a realistic chance of a semi-final spot.

Ahead of the Tigers clash, Saints face Saracens in the quarter-final of the European Champions Cup and Waller said their battle with Wasps had taken it out of his team.

“There are a lot of sore bodies about so we haven’t been on the pitch that much, which may actually be good for us in some aspects,” he said.

“The Wasps result was not the best, I don’t think the score line necessarily reflected how we played for long periods of the game but fair play to them they took their opportunities and they played a good game.

“We don’t like to lose very much but unfortunately it is part of the game, we have had a look at ourselves this week, had a look at the video, done a lot of analysis.

“I think we forced the ball a little bit, we got caught up in the way Wasps play which isn’t the way we play.

“Wasps are obviously a very good team and very good at counter attacking running rugby, we have a more dominant forward pack and some really good, fast, big, backs that we need to get in the game but we got caught up in a loose game which we could have tightened up a bit.”

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