Sale at home
Last weekend we welcomed Sale Sharks to Franklin’s Gardens for our first premiership match for a few weeks. As always the faithful were in full voice, during an overcast but mild afternoon! If you cast your minds back to the reverse fixture up in Manchester it was a tight affair. Sale that afternoon just edged out the game but we left with 1 point from a back and forth game.
The Gallagher premiership is a strange old competition this year with Saracens and Exeter clearly the superior teams currently leading the way. Then about 6 or 7 teams all fighting for the top other 2 spots in the top 4. This next block of premiership games will be crucial as if one team wins 3/4 games they will really climb the table and put a name forward for finals rugby.
Sale came to the gardens with a heavy pack that looked to dominate the set piece area. Being coached by Dorian West what do you expect! The game started well for Northampton as we scored first and kicked 2 early penalties. Dan Biggar unfortunately limped off after 20 minutes, George Furbank stepped up at fly half for the remainder of the game. The match was bizarre one, as Northampton managed to score straight from a kick off and twice from deep inside their own half. These types of scores really break a teams belief. It was clear to see once Northampton scored it really took the wind out of the sharks sales. At half time the saints had already got a bonus point and were leading convincingly. The second half was about making sure sale didn’t come away from the game with any points. We managed to hold them to just 2 tries and they didn’t get close on the score board. Northampton ran out winners by 50+ points. It was one of the great games at the gardens and their was a healthy crowd who got to enjoy it. A few stand out performers for Northampton were Lewis Ludlem who has been brilliant all season, Rory Hutchinson who is really staking a claim for a contract renewal for next season and George Furbank who’s looking like the Ben Foden replacement we have been looking for! It was brilliant to watch on as a supporter but I would have loved to have been playing!
This weekend we welcome bath to the Gardens, this will be a very tough challenge. They have a brilliant pack and some very dangerous backs that we will have to look after. This is a massive game for us as if we win it will put us closer to the top 4 which is our ultimate goal. I hope to see as many of you at Franklin’s gardens on Saturday as possible! As always we all appreciate your unwavering support, it really does mean a lot.
Hope you all have a brilliant week