Oct 15, 2017 at 5.30pm UK at ​Franklin's Gardens
SaintsNorthampton Saints
Haywood (75')
Williams (11', 28'), Barritt (20'), Clark (39'), Koch (41'), Vunipola (64'), Lozowski (67'), Spencer (77')

Jim Mallinder praises "exceptional" Saracens after defeat at Franklin's Gardens

Jim Mallinder concedes that Saracens "are a better side" than Northampton Saints after his team went down 57-13 in their European Rugby Champions Cup opener.

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder has admitted that his team can have no complaints after being dismantled by a ruthless Saracens side at Franklin's Gardens.

Back-to-back European Rugby Champions Cup winners Sarries kicked off their latest quest for silverware on the continent with a comfortable 57-13 victory on Sunday evening.

Wing Liam Williams crossed over twice as the visitors secured a four-try bonus point before the interval, leaving Mallinder under no illusion as to where the two teams currently stand on the European stage.

"They're a better side than us and we've got to be totally honest with that and put our hands up," BBC Sport quotes him as saying. "They've not lost in two and a half years in Europe and there's a reason for that.

"They're an exceptional side across the board. The game was over by half time and we've got to look at all those areas - set piece, first-up tackles, high balls. They've got quality all over the field and we've lost to a quality side, but it's not going to derail our season."

Northampton, who also lost George North to a knee injury, face last season's runners-up Clermont Auvergne in their next Pool Two outing.

Dylan Hartley of Northampton Saints during the Aviva Premiership match between Northampton Saints and Wasps at Franklin's Gardens on March 27, 2015
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