Jim Mallinder hails Stephen Myler after Saints win Amlin Challenge Cup
Amlin Challenge Cup 2014: Jim Mallinder hails Stephen Myler after Northampton's 30-16 victory over Bath
Jim Mallinder hailed Stephen Myler after the outside-half kicked 20 points to guide Northampton Saints to Amlin Challenge Cup glory over Bath.
The Saints director of rugby reserved special praise for the England international on a night when their leaders stepped up to come from 13-6 behind at half-time to win their first trophy since 2010 despite losing prop Alex Corbisiero to the sin bin two minutes after the restart.
We are a better team than what we were last year. We are pleased with the way things are going
“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,” said Mallinder. “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.”
Myler’s penalty kicking was flawless landing six from six attempts and converting Phil Dowson’s 71st minute try.
But the 29-year-old proved he is human by sending a final conversion attempt wide after a combination of Ben Foden and George North grounded the ball at the conclusion of an interception break from Myler set up Luther Burrell to barrel over the line before being held up.
“Stephen kicked his goals—you have got to take your points in games like this,” Mallinder added. “Unfortunately for [Bath’s 10] 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.”