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Launceston vs. Northampton Saints - Match Preview

By Casual Saint
March 1 2008

Saints came away from Franklin's Gardens on Saturday with their 100% record very much intact having nilled Rotherham for a second time. Next up are the Cornish All Blacks (Launceston) in the re-arranged fixture now being played at FG under the lights rather than at Polson Bridge in the dark. Casual Saint looks ahead to Tuesday evening's match...


NL1 – Tuesday, 4th March 2008 – 8pm




Now here is a peculiarity, after a month without a home game, just like the proverbial London buses 2 come along almost at the same time.  Further more this is technically an away game but being is played at the Gardens.  Strange days indeed in the words of the song.

Launceston and Northampton came into the 1st Division from opposite directions last May and the subsequent 9 months have been a cruel illustration of the difference in resources available to clubs at either end of the table.  Whilst Saints have swept all before them in both the cup and the league Launceston have secured only 3 victories and their spirited cup run came to a sticky end when they were on the wrong side of a 71-3 score line in Nottingham last Saturday.

Funnily enough both clubs will be focused on the same thing come Tuesday evening with both clubs desperate for points, albeit for contrasting reasons.  Launceston’s hopes of avoiding a return to the 2nd Division are looking to be in vain as they sit 10 points behind Sedgley Park. However, Cornish pride will demand that they keep battling until the last, 4 points against Coventry could really shake things up at the bottom of the table. They have been creative in their recruitment of loan players in an effort to bolster the squad.  Whilst Shane Drahm, Worcester’s tormenter in chief on their last couple of visits to the Gardens, has been ordered back to Sixways, the Launceston’s pack has been bolstered by the not inconsiderable presence of Gavin Quinnell.

For Saints this game comes in the middle of a run of 3 games against lowly placed opposition, from which they will be wanting to garner 15 points ahead of the critical ties against Exeter and Nottingham later in the month.  A tricky series of selections, balancing the needs to win points with the need not to over play any of the squad, has been made even trickier following the Bedford match, with a list of walking wounded normally associated with a “Casualty” Christmas special.  With Chris Ashton, Jon Clarke, Mark Hopley and Damian Browne all side lined with knocks it looks like it’s going to be overtime for some squad members and a rare 1st XV start for others.

No away game preview of an away game would be complete without a look at the ground and this is not exception.  Starting with the car parking, the club car parks are capacious however you may wish to bring a thermos, sandwiches and possibly a sleeping bag in preparation for the wait to get out after the game.  Exiting the Saints car parks can be so slow that it needs to be measured in geological time.  Alternatively you may wish to take your chances with the on street parking and risk the “Walk of Shame” when Uncle Geoff comes on the PA to ask you to move your car.

For the lovers of the aesthetics of steel concrete and plastics the stadium will have you in raptures, rarely have these 3 substances been melded into such a glorious form.    You will find a selection of catering outlets, although partaking of them is not an experience to be recommended to a epicurean.  In fairness  they do make in price that what they lose in quality and speed of service.  The canny locals tend to head to the legendary Weedon Road Chippie for pre match sustenance and an opportunity to spot either Steve Diamond or Big Joe.

The 3 stands tend to have their own atmosphere from the sepulchral silence of the Church’s stand, the raucous chanting of the Tetley’s stand and the Johnny come latelys in the South stand.  Wherever you sit or indeed stand however you will have a great view of the action on the pitch.

With regard to the result it is difficult to see Launceston getting anything out of the match.  With Saint’s resources being stretched by 3 games in 8 days it will be a huge ask for Launceston and they may well choose to concentrate on the games either side of this encounter.

I’m greatly looking forward to the game as a match under the flood lights always has a special feel and I would expect to see Saints better off to the tune of 5 points come the final whistle.

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Launceston vs. Northampton Saints - Match Preview (IP Logged)
01/03/2008 19:31
Launceston vs. Northampton Saints - Match Preview

Saint Swill
Re: Launceston vs. Northampton Saints - Match Preview
Saint Swill (IP Logged)
01/03/2008 19:49
Nice one thanks, Cas!

Flinstone Saint
Re: Launceston vs. Northampton Saints - Match Preview
Flinstone Saint (IP Logged)
01/03/2008 20:35
Lovely preview, Casual. I can't wait! Oh, I don't have to for too long!

See you all there.

Mr Roff
Re: Launceston vs. Northampton Saints - Match Preview
Neal Roff (IP Logged)
02/03/2008 13:55
Well done. An interesting and sometimes sadly accurate piece.

Quinnell was awesome yesterday and did his best to beat Cov single handed. If only we had got him and Collier earlier in the season. Ah Well. I have put both my Lanson and Saints hats on but can only come to the conclusion that you may see the first century of the season. The boys looked resigned yesterday.

Re: Launceston vs. Northampton Saints - Match Preview
Phil. (IP Logged)
02/03/2008 19:38
Sorry, CS, published your excellent article yesterday and then plum forgot to say thank you.




"It's not the despair, Saints, I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand."

Re: Launceston vs. Northampton Saints - Match Preview
Sarge (IP Logged)
02/03/2008 22:40
Pity that the game isn't on Wednesday, then the "home" supporters could celebrate St Pirin's Day.

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