Northampton have moved on from Kyle Sinckler's eye-gouging incident - Alan Dickens

Alan Dickens says that any on-pitch frustrations from Northampton were quickly forgotten
Alan Dickens says that any on-pitch frustrations from Northampton were quickly forgotten
©PA

Northampton Saints attack coach Alan Dickens stated that his team has moved on from the eye gouging incident by Harlequins prop Kyle Sinckler in the recently concluded Aviva Premiership encounter at Franklin's Gardens.

Sinckler was cited for making contact with eye on Sants' lock Michael Paterson for which he was sanctioned seven-week ban by an independent disciplinary panel.

Dickens, who was promoted to Saint's first team coaching panel in November 2012 insisted that Sinckler's actions were unwarranted but also added that the club will hold 'no grudges' against the British and Irish Lions prop.

"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 Saints started their season with a 55-24 defeat to Saracens but have quickly changed their fortunes with four straight wins over Leicester Tigers, Bath, London Irish and recently Harlequins. Things look even brighter for the Franklin's Gardens outfit with their summer recruit Piers Francis and flanker Tom Wood are likely to return from their respective injuries when they take on Gloucester at Kingsholm next weekend.

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."

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Aviva Premiership Rugby 2016/17 - Points Table