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Mallinder praises Saints half-back display

Mallinder praises Saints half-back display

Northampton head coach Jim Mallinder praised fly-half Stephen Myler after his superb performance earned the Saints a 23-13 win at Leeds Carnegie which sent them back into the top four of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.

The fly-half scored 18 points, including a try, to help end Northampton's six-match losing streak at Headingley.

Mallinder said: "There was lots of questions asked of him particularly over the last few weeks and he played well. He scored a try, kicked his points, not easy penalties, and you need somebody who will keep the scoreboard ticking over."

The Saints were also boosted by the return of scrum-half Lee Dickson from injury, and Mallinder was pleased to see hi partnership with Myler.

"When Lee Dickson plays he gives real energy and tempo to the side and I think he did that today," he added. "I think that some of our attacking play looked a lot sharper and we got on the front foot and created quite a lot of opportunities."

The club will also see the return of their international players from the Six Nations in time for their next league game as they push for a play-off place.

Mallinder added: "We have lost a couple of games before with internationals so it wasn't all about them being here or not being here. We knew we'd got a good enough side to win today, we worked really hard in the week.

"We're pleased that we've got through this little part of our season and what we need to do now is build on it with gusto."

Leeds remain rooted to the foot of the table having played a game more than their nearest challengers the Newcastle Falcons. A try from Danny Paul and eight points from the boot of fly-half Adrian Jarvis were not enough to prevent yet another defeat.

Head coach Neil Back bemoaned the lack of experience in his team as they tried to fight their way back into the contest in the second half.

"We had plenty of chances but were not able to finish them off," he said. "We missed a few experienced people today but we will never know if they would have made the difference.

"We have got a week off next week, which will be important for us and we will come back focused on Sale Sharks and trying to get ourselves back to where we want to be."

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