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Northampton boss Jim Mallinder "chuffed" as son Harry seals vital victory


Harry Mallinder is tackled by Glasgow Warriors' Alex Dunbar

Harry Mallinder is tackled by Glasgow Warriors' Alex Dunbar

Harry Mallinder is tackled by Glasgow Warriors' Alex Dunbar

Northampton rugby director Jim Mallinder admitted he was "pretty chuffed" after his son Harry scored a dramatic late try against Glasgow to keep Saints alive in this season's European Champions Cup.

The 19-year-old struck a minute from time when he gathered Stephen Myler's cross-kick, via a George North deflection, as Northampton edged past their Pool Three opponents 19-15 at Franklin's Gardens.

It followed earlier Saints tries by number eight Teimana Harrison and lock Christian Day, while JJ Hanrahan also kicked a conversion as Glasgow were beaten despite full-back Stuart Hogg's late penalty and four Finn Russell penalties.

Northampton, though, still have it all to do, with a bonus-point victory effectively being required against the Scarlets in west Wales next Saturday in the push for one of three best runners-up spots.

French heavyweights Racing 92 have already won the group, but Northampton know they at least retain a fighting chance heading into the final weekend of pool action.

"We were behind, and you lose and you are out of Europe. You win, and you are still in and fighting," Mallinder senior said.

"It's a massive thing to do. For your son to score, I am pretty chuffed.

"But he dropped one high ball, so he will be practising tonight!

"He is still learning the game. He sat on the bench for a couple of weeks, which has been quite good for him. He has been patient.

"He is not particularly a full-back, he plays more at inside centre, and he is one of many youngsters we have got coming through here, so the future is looking pretty good."

Mallinder, 19, went on after 26 minutes for Tom Collins, who was carried off following an accidental aerial collision with Hogg.

"Tom took a nasty bang," Saints boss Mallinder added. "I am not exactly sure if it was a knee or an elbow.

"He was knocked out briefly, but he has come round, he is up and changed and walking around in the changing room, so fingers crossed, he will be fine."

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Saints hooker Dylan Hartley, meanwhile, made his first start since Boxing Day, and Mallinder was satisfied with his contribution as the countdown continues towards England's RBS 6 Nations campaign next month - a tournament that could see Hartley captaining his country.

"I think it will have been good for Dylan just to get back," Mallinder said. "He played 50-odd minutes, and he will get better the more games he plays.

"It is hard to put a timescale on it, but he will definitely get better every time he plays. I think he was solid today."

Glasgow are now out of the European running, and they ended the game with 14 players after substitute lock Tim Swinson was yellow-carded for punching Hartley's replacement Mike Haywood.

"Losing a player is never great, but I don't think that was the worse thing to happen," Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend said.

"It was more like we looked as though we were getting a penalty from a lineout drive, so to give away a penalty and suddenly have to defend a few phases was disappointing.

"I think it was a punch. It's out of character, and it is something he is really disappointed with. He feels like he let down the team.

"We played with a real good effort throughout the team. It was much more like us, and to be leading in the 78th minute, it is obviously then very disappointing to lose the game.

"We knew it was about winning today, and that's what hurts - losing the game and being out of Europe."

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