rugbyunion
Latest News:

News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview


By Simon Robinson
January 3 2012

Northampton Saints welcome Harlequins to Franklin's Gardens this Friday evening for a match which is vital for the Saintly hordes as they seek to consolidate their position in the top four of the Aviva Premiership before the Six Nations strips them of their elite players. COYSDC stalwart, Smurf, looks ahead to an intriguing game...

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs. HARLEQUINS

Friday, 6th January 2012 - 7.45pm (ESPN)

FRANKLIN'S GARDENS

MATCH PREVIEW

 

Saints take on Quins for New Year's Honours


The first game of 2012 sees first v third at the Gardens. A Harlequins side which has only suffered two defeats this season takes on a Saints team who have lost only one of their last seven league matches.

While the home team's form may have been less spectacular than the visitors this season, they have scored at least twenty points in the last thirteen games - including (winless) visits to Thomond Park, Welford Road and Stade JP Antoine. In the process they have scored 46 tries and conceded 20, with many of the games still in the balance in the last quarter.

In fact, that has been Saints problem in some matches - dominating opponents in terms of possession and territory, but not scoring the points to put the game out of reach. Add to that convincing wins over Saracens, Exeter and Bath but only scoring three tries in each, they could be more comfortably ensconced in third place.

Harlequins, however, started the season with a bang having won their first ten games (then again, Saints won nine out of their first ten last season...) before slipping up against Saracens in the "Big Game" at Twickenham last week. That is their only domestic defeat - the home loss against Toulouse was avenged the week after in France - so can Saints add another "L" to Quins results sheet?

Quins struggled at Sandy Park last time out, with Rory Clegg missing five kicks but bagging the last to take the spoils. Having to play on Saturday following a Tuesday afternoon game didn't help, in addition to missing Evans and Easter - who may both be fit again for Friday's match. Mike Brown is definitely a dangerous player - he ranks in the top five for clean breaks, metres gained, defenders beaten and try assists. Then again, he's top of the turnovers conceded...

Saints last minute try through ex-Falcon Tom May secured a first league five pointer since...Tom May scored two of the six tries against Falcons at FG. However I doubt Quins will give Saints so much possession from lineouts (though Christian Day still tops the lineouts stolen table, not bad considering the Newcastle match was only his seventh appearance) and Saints cannot afford to make as many elementary mistakes in both handling and kicking against the league leaders.

My predicted team (depending on whether Lawes, Calum Clark, Wood and Elliott are fit or not):

Tonga'uiha

Hartley

Mujat

Sorenson

Manoa

Dowson

Nutley

Wilson

Dickson

Myler

Ashton

Downey

Pisi

Artemyev

Foden

Subs: Waller, Haywood, Doran Jones, Day, Craig, Roberts, Lamb, May.

However, I wouldn't be surprised to see Armstrong, Cato or Tonks involved somewhere along the line.

My predicted result: Saints, by a few (Quins to get a losing bonus point) in a tight but entertaining game.

View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with:

ComeOnYouSaints.com
ComeOnYouSaints.com (IP Logged)

News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
03/01/2012 23:45
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

 
Maverick1
Phil. (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
03/01/2012 23:50
Many thanks, Si.

As you say, it's gonna be close, I think!

 
MESSAGES->author
Saint Dom (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
03/01/2012 23:50
And our dear friend Sir Dave Pearson will have the treasured whistle in his fond grasp...

Great stuff Smurf - game on!

http://v4admin.sportnetwork.net/upload/99/99_0_1202835632.jpg
*I could agree with you - but then we'd both be wrong...*

 
propajob
propajob (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
03/01/2012 23:54
Going to be interesting. Thanks Smurf.

 
MESSAGES->author
StBleach (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 08:00
I will put my reputation as a visionary on the line here and disagree with you - I dont think it will be close - I think we will see the Saints perfomance of the season and come out with a Try Bonus point with QUinns being blown away... ( there, is that positive enough? - its the new me)

 
Duckonstilts
Duckonstilts (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 08:54
I too see us having a solid win. Performance and belief is building and i have the feeling we will get a full 80 mins out of the boys this week.

 
MESSAGES->author
Wee Jim (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 09:09
Excellent preview Smurf! Could see Day starting if he is ready and it will be interesting to see how Ashton fares.

 
ElmaFudd.
ElmaFudd. (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 09:34
Nice preview, this is one game I really want to go to but am waiting on Mrs Fudd having our first junior Fudd who is now 3 days late. What's the betting that will happen on Friday?

 
MESSAGES->author
Connorman (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 12:17
EF - whether Junior arrives before or after Friday, if you are allowed to go the the game, then I am in awe of you!! Mrs C would never have contemplated such a thing.

Best wishes to the three of you.

I won't be going as it's the coaches meal at ONs (arranged when the fixture was on Saturday). We'll have the game on the big screen though.

Nice preview, Smurf. If your prediction of Nutters works out, there's a hell of a test for him. I fear the breakdown may be a difficult area for us without Woody.

 
MESSAGES->author
smurfomatic (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 12:24
Thanks for all the kind comments.

Connorman - that team's based on Lawes, Clark and Wood all missing. It was either Nutley or Craig to start, as Nutcase has been in the Saints squad more often I chose him.

Photo Gallery

SWH12 - May 10th 2014

 
ElmaFudd.
ElmaFudd. (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 12:32
Thank you Connerman. My post wasn't clear, I won't be going to the match that much is certain, but I could be allowed to watch it in the pub (without alcohol) if Junior Fudd hasn't made an appearance by then. I have no sky/ESPN you see, so the only way I will catch it live is at my local (2 minute walk) pub if they are showing it.I shall miss the 'D' block experience whatever

 
MESSAGES->author
Connorman (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 12:40
Ah, well in that case, timing is everything, eh? Good luck anyway - it's a long, long time ago but I still remember the amazing experience. Keep us posted!

 
tubby shark
Saint Tub (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 13:23
37hours by Mrs t (and mini T) Elma.. you could prob take in the Sat and Sun early fixture as well...

Why is Wood not playing btw ? I thought he was just rested last week ?

 
MESSAGES->author
Howlin (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 13:46
Quins with and without Evans are a different beast (and why not he is world class) . I don't favour Easter at international level but he is also a talisman for the club. If these two return to the line up, it will be a much different Quins team than against EX. A measure of where we are I feel and an indication whether we are serious contenders.

Saint til I die

 
DaventrySaint
DaventrySaint (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 17:19
Nice work Smurf!

Think we need to dominate up front, and for that we need either Woody or Calum back in the backrow. Big Sam can do a job filling in for Courtney no problem.

Will be interesting to see if we go for JD or May at 12. Personally I'd start with JD and have May on the bench as we did last week - he's the perfect bench-man, can cover every position outside 9 and can have a real influence on the game.

Need a big performance in this one!

 
MESSAGES->author
St Marlowe (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 18:09
Quote:
Bleach
point with QUinns being blown away... ( there, is that positive enough? - its the new me)

(Sm92)
Really worried mow

David L

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

- Live wrong and preposterously

 
Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
04/01/2012 19:34
This is potentially the match of the season, really looking forward to two attack minded teams going for it. I hope it becomes an absolute try fest with both sides in tatters by the end.

Good one Smurf

No alcohol for January. I'm a dryathlete in aid of cancer research.

Dryathlon

 
ElmaFudd.
ElmaFudd. (IP Logged)

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Harlequins - Match Preview
05/01/2012 09:04
Quote:
Saint Tub
37hours by Mrs t (and mini T) Elma.. you could prob take in the Sat and Sun early fixture as well...


If you are referring to time in labour St Tub, given those times, she only needs to hold out until 5pm today and I could have the all clear to go to the match winking smiley

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing abuse@sportnetwork.net
 

Northampton Saints Poll

Do you prefer the new way of doing MoTM Polls?

See results > Submit >>