Dickens has great expectations for Wales and Saints star George North

Posted Saturday, February 03, 2018 by PA

Dickens has great expectations for Wales and Saints star George North

Northampton interim head coach Alan Dickens believes George North can still play a huge part for Wales in the NatWest 6 Nations after the winger scored a try in his comeback game.

North took just seven minutes to cross as the Saints booked an Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final spot with a convincing 36-10 win against Harlequins.

Ken Pisi grabbed two tries, with Tom Stephenson and Ahsee Tuala also scoring, but winger North will command much of the attention after showing he is in good touch ahead of Wales’ game against England.

“We were pleased George North was back involved and you could see he had a point to prove. Playing well for us gives him the best chances to get in the Wales side,” said Dickens.

“We were inaccurate in the second half, but we did what we needed to do.

“We got the win and it puts us in the position that we’re ahead of them in the pecking order so we could get a home semi-final.

“We knew what we needed to do. We knew it came down to tries and then points difference and we finished 12 ahead of them so it’s good.

“Tom Stephenson was really good as well. He was pretty ill today, but it’s really pleasing to see him back and playing well.”

The Saints started strongly, with Mike Haywood setting up North to cross in the corner, before Stephenson raced clear minutes later.

A neat Tuala side-step saw him dot down before the in-form Pisi scored either side of half-time.

Quins, who scored two tries through Mark Lambert and Joe Marchant, have to wait until Saturday to see if they can hold off Exeter and reach the last four.

“They picked a strong team, but we didn’t pick a weak team,” said forwards coach Graham Rowntree.

“Our team was pretty good in terms of experience, but I’m just disappointed with our errors.

“I said to the lads that I wasn’t upset with their attitude and their energy, because that was good and we didn’t give up, but we just can’t come and make those errors.

“Defensively, at the breakdown, set-piece, we couldn’t string any possession together.”




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