Mar 22, 2014 at 2pm UK at ​Salford City Stadium
Sale Sharks
19-6
SaintsNorthampton Saints
Cueto (7'), Jones (32'), Brady (38')
FT

Jim Mallinder bemoans "poor performance" from Northampton Saints

Jim Mallinder, coach and Director of Rugby of Northampton Saints, is interviewed by BT Sport before the Aviva Premiership match between Northampton Saints and Exeter Chiefs at Franklin's Gardens on September 7, 2013
© Getty Images
Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that his side gave a "poor performance" in their 19-6 loss to Sale Sharks.

Jim Mallinder has said that Northampton Saints put in a "poor performance" during their 19-6 defeat to Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership this afternoon.

Three first-half tries set up the home side for the victory, which sees Saints drop to second in the table following Saracens' win over Harlequins at Wembley Stadium.

Northampton's director of rugby told BBC Sport: "It was a poor performance. In the first half we never really got off the coach. Sale scored some good tries and took their opportunities. In the second half we improved but we were always up against it because we knew we had to score tries.

"We looked like a side who didn't have any cohesiveness out there because we haven't all played together for eight weeks. I don't think it is fitness because our lads are fit. We just couldn't string anything together.

"We've got some important games coming up now. We've lost this game but we're not out, we've got five games and we're still up in a very strong position."

The defeat was the team's first since their loss to Gloucester in September.

Mark Cueto of Sale Sharks is tackled by Wasps pair Matt Mullan (R) and Andrea Masi (L) during the Aviva Premiership match on March 1, 2014
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Aviva Premiership TablePPTS
1Wasps2280
2Exeter Chiefs2279
3Saracens2277
4Leicester Tigers2265
5Bath Rugby2258
6Northampton Saints2252
7Harlequins2251
8Newcastle Falcons2249
9Gloucester Rugby2246
10Sale Sharks2240
11Worcester Warriors2232
12Bristol Rugby2220
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