Rugby - West praises battling Saints

Northampton forwards coach Dorian West saluted his players for "grinding it out" after Saints got their Aviva Premiership play-off hopes back on track at Worcester.

PA Sport
Rugby - West praises battling Saints
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Dorian West felt his side played to the conditions at Worcester

A 70th-minute Samu Manoa touchdown and a penalty try in the dying seconds saw Northampton move up to fifth with a 27-18 victory - only their second league win from their last five starts.

"You need to be able to play the game depending on the conditions, and I was really pleased with how we did that," former England hooker West said. "It was not the conditions to be throwing the ball around, it was a day for grinding it out, working hard for each other and sticking tight in the forwards."

He added: "I thought we played the conditions very well. We showed that in the second half when we controlled field position, got the ball in the right areas and our forwards worked really hard.

"It's quite strange in that you are five points off the top four (as Northampton were before this game) and you are getting written off by everybody, saying how poor you are.

"We know we've not been at our best, but you don't win trophies before Christmas."

Worcester head coach Richard Hill, though, was delighted with his players' approach to the game on a Sixways pitch which resembled a glue-pot in parts.

"We played some superb rugby," Hill said. "A year ago you wouldn't have seen Worcester play with that intent of producing 15-man rugby.

"We did not finish things off but we have just got to persevere with that type of rugby. It is the rugby the players want to play.

"We got beaten by a power game. We knew what was coming with the scrum and the lineout maul and we couldn't deal with it."

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