As Saturday rolled around we welcome our friends from down the road to the gardens. I say friends in the loosest sense as I’m sure if you spoke to any supporter saints or tigers they’d say they hated the other team! It was a relatively cold and damp afternoon, but the weather didn’t keep the supporters away. The stands were full and loud as ever which was brilliant to see! Hopefully they got their money’s worth!
The game started slowly, Leicester managed to score a try early on which came against the run of play. We let them into the game through our ill discipline and handling errors. They have a strong scrum and driving maul and they use it effectively! We managed to scrap our way into the game, playing with tempo and moving them around. An exciting brand of rugby to play, and I’m sure an exciting brand to watch. We ran in three un answered tries, and built a small lead. We went into the break leading by 2 scores. As a team we felt that we were playing at a 6 our of 10 which wasn’t good enough for our standards. We needed to sharpen up on our basics and begin to play with some more tempo. This meant that our scrum half Cobus Reinach would be looking for quick taps when we had penalties and free kicks. The second half ground to a halt and Leicester pinched a fortuitous try to bring it to 6 points. You could feel the gardens was on edge. This gap wasn’t to be for too long though as we scored again, and then once more to really stretch the lead. We needed to try and score as many as we could to give us the best chance of having a home semi final. The boys fought right till the end, and managed to score with the last play of the game. Franklin’s gardens was rocking.
When I say that there is no better feeling for a saints player than beating Leicester I mean it. All the fans are up for it, all the players know that it means so much and there is so much history behind it. No one wants to let anyone down. We played with heart and passion and stuck at it for 80 minutes. It wasn’t a perfect game by any means, but it gives us something to build on for the semi final and also gives us 1 up on Leicester which is always nice.
As a squad we have a few days off now to have some down time and then it’s back to work! Thank you for all your support and I look forward to seeing you for our premiership cup semi final! We are get to find out who we are playing but I’m sure it will be a good game to watch!
Have a good week!