North up and running in scoring stakes with Saints

Jim Mallinder is confident George North has now opened the floodgates after the British & Irish Lions winger finally opened his account for new club Northampton Saints. [more]

George North

Jim Mallinder is confident George North has now opened the floodgates after the British & Irish Lions winger finally opened his account for new club Northampton Saints.

Following on from his heroics Down Under – that included two Test tries as well as a memorable fireman’s carry on Israel Folau – everyone expected North to hit the ground running in the Premiership after his move from Scarlets.

But after his first three outings for Saints North had still not crossed the whitewash, despite playing the full 80 minutes in every game.

However all that changed on Friday night as the 21-year-old delighted the Franklin’s Gardens crowd as he scored his first Northampton try in the 33-14 victory over Sale.

And now that he has bagged his maiden score, Saints director of rugby Mallinder is confident the best is yet to come.

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"He has got that out of the way now. He was good against Sale, tidy," Mallinder said.

"He is taking his time, settling in and he is playing well for us. We are pleased with the way he is going. We played outstanding at times tonight; some of our attacking play and tempo was very good."

North wasn’t the only British & Irish Lion to star on Friday night with a number of Warren Gatland’s charges returning to action in the Pro12.

Irishmen Tommy Bowe and Rory Best both scored tries as Ulster triumphed against Benetton Treviso 32-13, while Brian O’Driscoll ignited Leinster to a 34-20 win over Cardiff Blues.

Wales centre Jonathan Davies also crossed the whitewash as Scarlets saw off Edinburgh, while Sean Maitland set up two tries and walked away with the man-of-the-match award in Glasgow Warriors’ 24-17 success against Zebre.

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