Connect with us

Northampton Saints

“We’ve got to make sure there’s a reaction”-Northampton Saints boss looks to rebound following Bristol thumping

Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Phil Dowson has called for his side to make a reaction following their heavy 52-21 defeat to Bristol Bears.

Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Phil Dowson has called for his side to make a reaction following their heavy 52-21 defeat to Bristol Bears.

The defeat at Ashton Gate on Friday night not only brought an end to the Saints’ run of 10 wins on the spin, but it also allowed Bath to close the gap at the top of the table to just two points.

Speaking to the media today ahead of his side’s clash with Saracens, Dowson said he expects his side to come out firing as they look to write the wrongs from last week.

“How do you get over it (the result against Bristol)? You analyse it, you learn from it and then you apply those lessons in your next opportunity,” he said.

He added: “We’ve got to make sure there’s a reaction for Saracens, and I think from a coaching point of view we try and work out why we didn’t have the intensity that we needed.”

The loss against Bristol was Northampton’s first since mid November-when they came up short against bitter rivals Leicester Tigers-but Dowson said his side ‘didn’t get it right’ on the night.

“We didn’t get it right against Bristol and that was clear as day in both our performance and the score line, and whether it’s a blip or not will be dependent on our reaction.”

Whilst the expectation might be for Dowson to spray his side following the manner of the defeat, he told members of the media today that the review was ‘fairly measured’.

“[It was] fairly measured, because I don’t think it’s ever a case of the players not trying or not believing in what we’re doing or not giving a toss; I think it’s more a case of we didn’t get the preparation quite right or we didn’t get this block right.

He also added his team need to learn from the result ‘as quickly as possible’: “One you don’t it’s happen again and two you want to make sure you take any of those lessons and apply them as quickly as possible.

Dowson on facing Saracens

Bristol Bears v Northampton Saints, Bristol, UK – 22 Mar 2024 Phil Dowson, Director of Rugby of Northampton Saints during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bristol Bears and Northampton Saints at Ashton Gate on 22 March 2024. Bristol Ashton Gate GBR Copyright: xTomxSandberg/PPAUKx PPA-100540

Northampton welcome Saracens to Franklin’s Gardens this Friday night as they look to put last week behind them, but Mark McCall’s men will be in high spirits following their own huge 52-7 win over Harlequins.

To add a little bit of extra spice to proceedings, a bonus point win for the Londoners, whilst denying Northampton any points in the process, would see them leapfrog the Saints at the summit.

Whilst there is plenty on the line for the Saints this weekend, Dowson said his side would be fired up no matter who they were playing as they look to return to winning ways.

“I think having the champions turn up to our house is a good one to get back in, but whatever the game had been this week we would have been fired up for it to try and put the disappointment of last week behind us.”