Northampton will not hold a grudge against Kyle Sinckler - coach Alan Dickens

04 October 2017 06:24

Northampton Saints have vowed not to hold any grudges against Kyle Sinckler after the Harlequins prop was banned for gouging Michael Paterson.

Saints' attack coach Alan Dickens insisted the Franklin's Gardens club have already moved on from the incident that marred Saturday's 30-22 Aviva Premiership win over Quins.

British and Irish Lions prop Sinckler has been suspended for seven weeks, and has apologised despite insisting his actions were reckless not malicious.

Dickens maintained however that any on-pitch frustrations from Saints were quickly forgotten, with Northampton well aware of rugby's disciplinary tightrope.

"There's no satisfaction for us in that verdict, the game's gone, it will affect Harlequins, they won't have a British Lion playing for them for the next seven weeks," said Dickens.

"The players go out on the pitch and it's a fine line, it really is; the reason they are professional rugby players is because they are aggressive, they are in your face.

"Sometimes they overstep the mark, and mistakes can happen, but there's no grudges held at all."

Northampton opened the season with an abject 55-24 hammering by Saracens at Twickenham, but have since climbed off the canvas and to the top of the Premiership table.

Summer recruit Piers Francis and flanker Tom Wood are in contention to feature in Saturday's trip to Gloucester after injury, with Dickens revealing the Saints are starting to reap the rewards of attacking shifts set in place last season.

He said: "We've started well, and the rewards that are coming now, we'd started to see at the back-end of last season.

"We've had a big focus on the attack so it's pleasing that we're top of the table at the moment, but we still know we've got a lot to work on.

"We had a mindset shift at the back end of last season that when we get the ball we'll cherish it, look after it and go through the phases.

"And you've got guys like George North who had 14 carries for us on the weekend.

"Players are working hard, getting off the wing, getting involved.

"And I think when we've got guys looking for work amid a mindset of wanting to attack, then that's us at our best."

Source: PA