Dickens admits confidence low

31 December 2017 11:26:21 EST

Northampton Saints acting head coach Alan Dickens conceded that the team's confidence was very low after another defeat.

Saints went down to a 50-21 defeat to Harlequins, their seventh successive Aviva Premiership loss.

The home side ran in seven tries and led 31-0 at the break. The visitors improved in the second half, getting on the scoreboard with three tries of their own, from Rob Horne, Nic Groom and Mikey Haywood, but it was too late to avoid another dispiriting defeat.

I can't ask any more from them. I put it down to confidence, our heads went down.

Alan Dickens

After the match Dickens, in temporary charge, following Jim Mallinder's departure, admitted that confidence was low.

He said: "It is tough to watch and it is the second time we have come here and the game is gone in the first half and it's too little, too late.

"We didn't control the game - we had no control in the first half, spilt the ball and the game was done inside 30 minutes, which is very disappointing.

"I can't ask any more from them. I put it down to confidence, our heads went down. We need to get the confidence and win."

The loss means that Saints begin 2018 a lowly 10th in the Premiership table though they are well clear of bottom club London Irish.

Harlequins are seventh in the table, seven points behind fourth placed Gloucester.

Saints first game of the new year takes place next Saturday when they are back at Franklin's Gardens to take on Gloucester while Quins travel to Sale Sharks on the same day.

After the Gloucester match Saints are back in European Champions Cup action. Bottom of Pool 2 with four defeats from their matches so far, they play Clermont and then Saracens.

Sarries, defending champions are 1212/1 to win the cup again this season with Clermont 1212/1 and Toulon priced at 1212/1.

England, meanwhile, are 10/3 to win the 2018 Six Nations.

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