Mallinder hails 'top-drawer' Myler
May 23, 2014
Stephen Myler was singled out by Jim Mallinder post-match © Getty Images
Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder hailed Stephen Myler's match-winning performance in the wake of their Amlin Challenge Cup final victory over Bath.
Myler slotted 20 points to help Northampton to their 30-16 win at the Arms Park on Friday evening. "You need a performance like that in big games, just somebody who can keep their head to make really good decisions, not just kicking the goals," Mallinder said. "It was top-drawer by Stephen on a night when all of our leaders stepped up.
"We had a game-plan that we wanted to move their front-five around the field. They were very physical, but we knew if we kept playing, then the opportunities would come. Stephen kicked his goals - you have got to take your points in games like this. Unfortunately for George Ford, he missed a few at a crucial time.
"We know we are improving as a team. We are a better team than what we were last year. We are pleased with the way things are going."
Northampton trailed 13-6 at half-time after George Ford kicked two penalties and converted wing Anthony Watson's try, but they then recovered superbly despite losing prop Alex Corbisiero to the sin-bin as Bath were sunk. Match-winner Myler said: "You are not just going to turn up and get given the trophy.
"You have got to go out and earn it and the forwards have been outstanding all season for us. They've given us that platform to play from. We regrouped at half-time, came up with a plan and I am proud of the lads that we stuck to that plan."
Bath head coach Mike Ford accepted that his team had not taken their chances. "We had to take our opportunities when they were on offer, and we missed a couple. Myler picked us off," Ford said. "Maybe at a crucial time the inner belief you get from winning big games and trophies just wasn't quite there because we have got no recent history of that.
"We are proud of what we have done this season. We are not going to change our philosophy. The pack is one of the best in the league, if not the best, and we have got a massively exciting back-line. We don't want anyone to feel sorry for us. We were good enough to get in the top four [in the Aviva Premiership] and we were good enough to win tonight. I think the game slipped away from us.
"We have won more than 75% of our games this season, and we have played some entertaining football. Next season we will come back stronger."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Giedo van der Garde is taking legal action ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in an attempt to secure one of Sauber's race drives in 2015
Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 4. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups as they are named to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks
The Football Association is to launch an investigation into the alleged spitting incident between Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen implores rugby to ask itself 'is this really the game we want?', "if we want to encourage people to watch the game"
Tyson Fury is willing to risk his shot at Wladimir Klitschko by facing a different opponent just to "keep busy"
After Nemanja Matic twisted his ankle celebrating Chelsea's League Cup win, ESPN runs down some of the game's most ludicrous injuries
Proposals to remove promotion and relegation from the Aviva Premiership would be for the good of the entire game, argues John Taylor
Amid the glitz and glamour of modern grand prix racing it can be all too easy to forget about the men and women that keep the wheels turning. The Grand Prix Trust makes sure that's not the case
Could the Force's scrum woes and the general sluggishness of the pack affect Michael Foley's hopes of Wallabies role? Brett McKay asks the question in Three Points
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Amir Khan is unlikely to face Kell Brook this summer as he looks to negotiate a fight with Miguel Cotto in America
Louis van Gaal wants his Manchester United players to cut out the backpasses to David De Gea as frustrations mount among supporters over his side's unadventurous approach this season
Brendan Rodgers admits Liverpool's defeat at Crystal Palace in November left him fearing for his job at Anfield
Andre Ward has warned Carl Froch that he will be calling all of the shots over their proposed title unification bout
Emre Can sees his long-term future at Liverpool as a midfielder, but insists he will never be the new Steven Gerrard
Eight years ago, Steve Bunce was offered the chance of buying a 'share' in Tyson Fury, and it would have been a shrewd investment if he had the money
He may try and play down his obsession with his appearance, but Cristiano Ronaldo has apparently been sending a personal stylist to regularly brush up his waxwork model
Who was the 100th man to win a world championship Grand Prix?
Paul Butler tells Inside Boxing he turned down the chance of a trial with Liverpool in order to focus on boxing - and it was the right choice
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner