The Grind Continues
Tuesday night was the last home fixture this season for Northampton saints. We saw Sale sharks travel down the M6 to try and claim the full 5 points to keep their top 4 hopes alive. For Northampton there was nothing but pride to play for. To get a win at home to take into the short off season and build some confidence.
The game started quite slowly with both teams throwing punches but nothing really landing. Two early injuries, one for the saints in Courtney Lawes and one for Sale in Tuilagi must have left Eddie Jones with his head in his hands. Two of Englands most experienced players looked to have picked up nasty injuries that could see them miss the upcoming internationals. I wish them both speedy recoveries.
Sale managed to sneak a try in the corner and capitalise on a Northampton error to take it to two tries to none. Northampton fought and fought but little seamed to be working for the home side. This is usually the case when you’re up against it and are out of form. The bounce of the ball always goes for the opposition and all your efforts seam to amount to not a lot. The work rate and effort is what kept the home side in this game, a last ditch tackle from Alex Mitchell a highlight of what fighting till the end is about. At 22-14 the game was in the balance. Sale looked on top but Northampton were not a million miles away. A couple of errors in decision and skill meant sale got some good field position. They made it pay. They scored two quick tries and took the game away from Northampton in the blink of an eye. That is what the premiership is like at the moment, if you are off the boil for a couple of minutes then teams can really take the game from you. The game ended up with sale running out comfortable winners, but the score line didn’t represent the game. Another performance from the saints with lots of heart and effort but littered with skill errors and lapses of concentration hurt us again.
The final home game wasn’t to be the finish we wanted, but there is still one game left of the season. Northampton will send a young, enthusiastic, talented group down to kingsholme where they will take on Gloucester. A team in a similar place to the saints having a poor post lockdown they will be hoping to finish the season strongly. I would imagine they will go full strength and try and impose themselves from the off. I’m very excited about the prospect of getting out there before a couple of weeks off.
As always thank you for your support