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Rugby, Australian Football: Saints boss hails Grayson

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posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 05:09 AM
Northampton boss Alan Solomons paid tribute to Paul Grayson after the former England fly-half guided his team to a crucial Heineken Cup victory.

Grayson, on his first appearance for six weeks after recovering from a broken hand, played a key role as Northampton defeated Pool Three rivals Llanelli Scarlets 25-3 at Franklin's Gardens.

It gave Northampton a second successive European victory following a miserable run of results in the Zurich Premiership, and effectively knocked Llanelli out of quarter-final contention.

Grayson kicked 10 points, but he offered the Saints tactical assuredness in a game the home side dominated.

"Paul makes a big difference," said rugby director Solomons.

"He is a very experienced player who has played a lot of international rugby. He gives us a lot of direction, and he can control a game very well.

"He did outstandingly well for a player who has been out for six weeks.

"You have to win your home games in this competition, and then try to get one or two victories on the road.

"The win in Glasgow last weekend was critical - it gave us confidence - and everyone stepped up to the mark."

Northampton now face back-to-back clashes with group Leaders Toulouse when the tournament resumes in early December and Solomons is under no illusions about the challenge that lies ahead.



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