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Mallinder not getting carried away

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder insisted it would be "daft" to read too much into their thumping 74-13 Aviva Premiership win over Wasps going into their semi-final against Leicester.

Northampton, who needed just a point to secure a home semi-final, should go into Friday night's clash at Franklin's Gardens brimming with confidence after running in 11 tries to claim the biggest Premiership win of the season.

It was also a club record Premiership win and the most tries Northampton have scored in a Premiership game. There have only been seven higher Premiership scores, with Saints' 74 the biggest since Leicester racked up 83 against Newcastle in 2005.

But Wasps rested a host of players - only three of their starting line-up are likely to run out against Stade Francais in the first leg of the European Champions Cup play-off - and Mallinder knows it will be very different against a Leicester team they have not beaten in their last 10 meetings.

Mallinder said: "This win gives us confidence, but we won't read too much into it.

"Wasps sent a weak side with their minds on next week and we are not daft enough to think otherwise."

Wasps were actually 13-0 in front after 15 minutes, but Northampton stormed back with Lee Dickson, George North and Phil Dowson scoring two tries each, while Stephen Myler, Luther Burrell, Ken Pisi and Ben Foden also dotted down.

Mallinder added: "There is a slight worry when you go two scores down. I was thinking, 'What is the Leicester score?'

It was pleasing the way we came back, we dominated the game from 60 minutes onwards.

"We have got our home semi and after 22 games that is all you can ask for.

"We know we are in good shape, we are physically and mentally in good shape, but we know it is going to be difficult against Leicester.

"We know they have a good record against us and they will be very confident, but we are looking forward to it."

After six months on the sidelines with a knee injury loosehead Alex Corbisiero came off the bench and will be available to take on Leicester, but Mallinder admitted Dylan Hartley was a doubt as he recovers from a shoulder problem.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said: "We are all pretty embarrassed by that performance.

"It gave us the opportunity to play some players who have not had a lot of game time, but the biggest disappointment was the way we seemed to lack any fight when they got in front."

On the Northampton-Leicester semi-final, Young added: "Leicester can handle the forward power, but Northampton have added a lot with George North and are a far more rounded team this season. I wouldn't like that to call that one."


From Belfast Telegraph