What a night at welford road
We travelled a short distance north to our old rivals Leicester tigers on Friday. This trip comes off the back of a special afternoon last weekend at Franklin’s gardens. One that bought silverware back to Northampton after a few dry years. Celebrations were cut short however as we had a fast turn around to prepare ourselves for a mid table clash against Leicester. These fixtures don’t really need talking about too much to get the juices flowing. A true rugby fan will know what a good old fashioned East Midlands Derby day is like.
With many changes in both sides due to the six nations finishing and some rotation, both teams looked fresh and were ready to go to war for 80 minutes with each other. The main battle that all eyes would be on would be the fly halves. Dan Biggar a grand slam winner back from wales duty and George Ford, England’s saviour against Scotland in the dying minutes. One of these internationals would have to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
The game started well for Northampton, scoring an early try. You guessed it, it was that man Cobus Reinach flying in the corner once again. The man is an absolute rocket and once he is in open space there is no catching him! Leicester then had a man in the sin bin for a professional foul. This meant saints really started to move the ball and try and stretch Leicester where they could. Whilst Leicester were a man down, saints found some space and managed to score two more tries to extend their lead to 20-3. The men in black green and gold were absolutely flying and playing some very attractive rugby. This style of rugby all begins with winning collisions. This allows you to then get fast ball with a brutal break down and once you have those two things the game becomes a lot easier. Leicester turned down 3 points just before half time and went for the scrum to try and secure 7. Unfortunately for them a penalty against them cost them this opportunity and saints kicked the ball off for half time. The second half became similar to the first with saints taking first blood. 3 Dan Biggar penalties took the lead to 29-3 which was looking very good for Northampton. Leicester however were never going to stop fighting in a derby day and kept throwing punches right till the end. A couple of pieces of George Ford magic meant Leicester made the margin of defeat look slightly respectable. But this time round it was Northampton who took the Derby day spoils.
From a saints side, they will be very happy with this result. Going to Welford road and coming away with a win is something that hasn’t happened very often and it is definitely something that the boys will celebrate. But it will be back to work on Monday with all eyes towards our Challenge cup quarter final tie against Clermont. We have played the French giants twice already this year and know a lot about what they bring to the table. They have a giant pack and they have some world class, lightening quick backs! We will have to perform to the same level as we did against Leicester if we want to come away from Clermont with a win!
As always thank you for your support! What a brilliant result that was. Fingers crossed we can do the same again this weekend.