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Northampton win over Benetton branded ‘horrible, terrible and disgusting’

Welcome return: Fit-again Mallinder crashes over to score his try PICTURE: GETTY

CHALLENGE CUP

Northampton 33-20 Benetton

BOSS Chris Boyd apologised for a ‘disgustingly dreadful’ performance even though Northampton kept alive their hopes of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.

It took until the 72nd minute for Northampton to score the fourth of their five tries and secure a bonus point against one of the weakest sides in the competition.

‘That was a disgustingly dreadful performance. I apologise to everyone for that performance,’ said Boyd. ‘It was a horrible game. I thought we were terrible. Anyone with any respect for the game would be horrified by that performance from both sides.

‘I don’t think we showed respect to the game or the opposition.

‘Clearly the plan was to get five points to keep us alive in Europe, but the danger then is that every time the players get the ball they think they have to score a try. All the fundamentals and basics go out of the game.’

England head coach Eddie Jones saw his scouting mission ruined as George Furbank felt a groin niggle in the warm-up, Courtney Lawes failed to last after illness and David Ribbans’ game ended in the first half after a blow to the ankle.

The bright spot for Saints was Harry Mallinder’s tryscoring return after 15 months out with a serious knee injury.

‘It’s been a long haul for him,’ said Boyd. ‘He’s a quality player.’