Northampton Saints look to improve record against top three

Jim Mallinder

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder is hoping his side can end their struggles against the current top-three teams by beating Harlequins on Saturday.

Play-off-bound Saints have only won one of their last nine matches against Quins, Saracens and Leicester.

"We know the result doesn't matter. But we want to win because we've had a bit of criticism and quite rightly so.

"It's a fact we've not beaten the top sides as often as we'd have liked," Mallinder told BBC Radio Northampton.

Northampton's sole win in the last nine came against Quins at Franklin's Gardens in January last year.

And Saints travel to the Stoop this weekend knowing that they will meet one of that trio in the play-offs.

"If we want to go away and win an away semi-final, it's very important we get momentum, get used to winning away from home," said Mallinder.

"We've done pretty well in some of our away games. Potentially, if we were to go all the way to the final, we'd face all three of them."

Saints, beaten Heineken Cup finalists in 2011, are yet to win the Premiership play-offs despite finishing in the top four for the fourth consecutive season.

"We've been close. We got to a Heineken Cup final, we've been in the play-offs the last number of years," added Mallinder. "We've just not gone that next step further."

Top Stories