The James Grayson Blog

By January 15, 2019 October 8th, 2019 No Comments

An experience to remember

Over the weekend the Northampton Saints travelled to the french giants Clermont Auvergne. They are currently sat top of the Top 14 and look as if they are going to waltz to another top 14 final. If you have watched any European Rugby this year, you’ll know that Toulouse are running riot. They have beaten Leinster and they also beat wasps in the home and away ties. In my opinion Toulouse are the only team that will be able to stop this giant force in the top 14 table this season.

However, with that being said we went to cold Clermont with full intention of making their evening as difficult as possible! We needed 4 tries and we knew if we scored 4+ tries that we would be in the game. The match started with a furious pace, the men in blue scoring first, then we got 2 back. We were rocking the French side and it felt good. The difficult thing with having a big emphasis on trying to run the ball out to score tries means that mistakes do occur and it allows the other team to have counter attack opportunities. This side just so happens to be one of the best in the northern hemisphere when the game is loose and broken. With this being the case the game was looking like it was to be a high scoring affair. In the second half we managed to score 4 tries and lo and behold we were in the game. The issue was that when we scored a try, they seemed to bounce straight back and score another one themselves. It must have been a brilliant game to watch, I can tell you it was an awesome game to be involved in. The stadium is something special, three tiers all the way round and they sell it out every weekend! With 3 minutes to go we were 1 point behind the Clermont men had one final surge and scored a brilliant try from long range, this took us to 8 points behind which meant we only left with 1 point. We did deserve more than that, but at the end of the day our defence was no where near good enough, and we gave them too much turnover ball to play with. We will leave with our heads held high with lots of positives to take but also a lot of work to do this week to right our wrongs.

This weekend we welcome Timisoara Saracens to the Gardens. If you have read the previous blogs you will have read about or trip to Romania where we didn’t play any rugby and watched the snow fall for 2 days. Fingers crossed we don’t get any snow in Northampton this weekend and the game can go ahead. We need 4 tries and a win to go through as best runners up in our pool. I look forward to seeing you at the Gardens in the coming weeks.

Thanks for your support as always.