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Mallinder left to sweat over Foden

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder has his fingers-crossed that Ben Foden will shake off a knee injury after the England full-back was helped off the pitch in the 18-0 win over Newcastle.

It was not until the 58th minute that James Wilson touched down, with Luther Burrell adding a second five minutes later. Stephen Myler converted one of them after kicking two penalties to give his side a 6-0 half-time lead.

But Mallinder is concerned with Foden after he jarred his knee taking a high ball in the first half and then went off in the 64th minute after twisting it again.

"We need to look at Ben, he was struggling to walk off," said Mallinder.

"Fingers-crossed there is nothing wrong there.

"We knew it was going to be hard work breaking down Newcastle, they have got a big heavy pack, they defend very well and we weren't quite as fluent in attack as we would like to be."

Mallinder is hopeful that Dylan Hartley and Tom Wood will be back at Worcester next Saturday after suffering a bruised lung and a bruised rib respectively playing for England but he confirmed Alex Corbisiero will be out for three to four months after an operation on his knee.

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards was furious with namesake referee Dean Richards.

"We got absolutely nothing from the referee or the touch judges," said Richards.

"When you look at it in slow motion you can't understand where they are coming from with the decisions they make.

"All you want is a bit of parity in the decision making and we didn't get that from the officials. The scrum was a lottery.

"When you have people riding up on the outside of the scrum, the loosehead coming in at an angle at every scrum, you can't understand how they get to the conclusion they do.

"But we transgress once and we get penalised. Some teams get away with it and other teams don't.

"At the breakdown, if we are being penalised for competing for the ball then they need to be as well, there is no consistency. I'm angry and frustrated."

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