- Northampton Saints go top with 34-13 victory over Newcastle
- Newcastle head coach Alan Tait bemoans Falcons scrum
Photo: Getty Images
Newcastle Falcons head coach Alan Tait conceded his side's scrum had been taken during their 34-13 defeat to Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens.
The Saints went top of the Aviva Premiership with a sixth league win out of seven this season - a triumph that was set up by their forwards' domination.
"Our set piece wasn't good enough," Tait said. "We were outpowered in the scrum and from that base it's impossible to build up any momentum.
"Either Northampton were really, really good in that area or we were really poor."
The Falcons did at least score the best try of the game through replacement Jeremy Manning, and Tait added: "We showed what we could do with some good ball by scoring a good try through Manning, but Northampton gave us a good lesson today."
The Saints only led 10-3 at the interval thanks to a hotly disputed try from Lee Dickson when the scrum-half broke away from a scrum 20 metres out from the Newcastle line.
The Falcons players complained to the referee about crossing and obstruction but their pleas were ignored.
"I've had a look and there seemed to be a lot of runners who blocked our defensive line," noted Tait.
Photo: Getty Images
Saints coach Jim Mallinder was glad his side had finally turned their dominance into points during the second half.
"The first half was very frustrating. Our set piece was dominant and we needed to be sharper to reward our dominance, but credit to Newcastle for they hung in there," he said.
Northampton were minus their England squad quartet and Mallinder added: "It's never ideal to lose your four best players plus Bruce Reihana, and it's ideal to take your chances in the first half.
"We didn't do that but we kept our patience and were rewarded with late scores."
The Saints lost Dickson and Roger Wilson with ankle injuries and Mallinder revealed: "They are both still hobbling but it is too early to give a diagnosis.
"Both players were due for a rest in any event."