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Chris Boyd apologises to Declan Kidney following Saints win

By PA

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Chris Boyd apologised to London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney after Northampton escaped with a 23-21 win over the Exiles thanks to Dan Biggar’s late penalty.

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Saints had made the perfect start to the Gallagher Premiership contest as they led 17-0 in the first half, but their discipline let them down as Irish fought back to lead 21-20 heading into the last 10 minutes.

However Biggar, back from British and Irish Lions duty for his first appearance of the season, knocked over the crucial penalty six minutes from time as Saints made it three wins from three games.

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Northampton director of rugby Boyd said: “I just bumped into Declan and apologised for that performance and the fact we managed to sneak four points.

“He said ‘you’re too honest a man to say that to me because I know you’re not sorry at all’ – and I’m not sorry.

“The get-out-of-jail card we were given we were determined to give back so the only good thing about today was take the four points and the first 15 minutes we were pretty decent.

“The fact we’ve had three pretty tight games and we’re still kicking at 100 per cent off the tee, for the three guys who have kicked, has helped us out a bit.

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“We’ve got a history of being inconsistent and we’re consistently inconsistent.

“Really, it’s not good enough and some of the penalties we gave away were brain dead.

“There will be some guys squirming in their seats when we do our review on Monday because we can’t keep keeping other teams in the game.”

Tries from Tom Collins and Matt Proctor had allowed Saints to open up a sizeable lead, but Agustin Creevy crossed for Irish before half-time.

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Saints then lost Api Ratuniyarawa and Paul Hill to the sin-bin, the latter conceding a penalty try in the process.

And when Tom Parton crossed for Irish’s third try, they led for the first time before Biggar’s late heroics after Albert Tuisue was penalised.

Kidney said: “Maybe we should start at 17-0 down every week.

“It’s something we’ll have to look at, that start. We gave them opportunities and they took their chances.

“We gave away too many penalties and it’s going to be difficult for you if you do that.

“Albert (Tuisue) is a top player and nobody likes giving away a penalty.

“We had a few kicks to the corner and it was a day like that.

“It was hard to play off them and sometimes on days like today you’re better off without the ball.

“Northampton are a resilient side and we gave them a 17-point lead, so it’s always going to be difficult to come back from that.

“But we did come back, as we did last week to get a draw, but there were just fine margins at the end of this game.”

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Chris Boyd apologises to Declan Kidney following Saints win

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