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Jim Mallinder says Northampton must 'stick together' after last-gasp defeat to Harlequins

Last Updated: 10/11/12 4:51pm

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Jim Mallinder: Saints must stick together

Jim Mallinder: Saints must stick together

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Northampton boss Jim Mallinder told his team they must "stick together" after a fourth straight defeat, this time at the hands of Harlequins.

Ben Botica barged over with the last play of the match to break Northampton's hearts and earn the visitors a stunning 31-30 victory in the LV=Cup.

Saints had battled back from 15 points down to take the lead too, and Mallinder was not a happy man.

"We need to stick together, go down to Newport next week and get a good win," said Mallinder. "We are going through a down period and we need to get back to winning ways.

"We are very disappointed to concede that late try. The three first-half tries were stupid really as well. We conceded tries too easily, they were all our mistakes and all preventable."

"At half-time I said, 'Let's simplify things'. Our possession was fantastic from the scrum and lineout, and we said, 'Let's look after the ball, take the simple option and not the impossible one'.

"I am not going to criticise anybody, but there were two tries we didn't have to concede and an overthrow at our lineout."

Harlequins chief Conor O'Shea saluted the determination of his team, in particular all-action centre Matt Hopper.

The Quins boss said: "I said to Matt Hopper, 'Can we have just one more 80 minutes and take next week off', because we will have George Lowe back, and he was outstanding for us, as he has been all season.

"The work ethic was fantastic. Even in the second half the work ethic in defence when we were under massive pressure was great.

"We managed to stem the tide and as always happens the momentum came back to us and we took the chance."

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