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News: Saints rediscover their mojo at Stadium mk:


By Bonso
April 26 2015

There has been much talk of the rights and wrongs of this fixture but here it is and it seemed that people arrived in numbers and   made the best of it and in doing that had a jolly good day in the sunshine. I found the organisation in the stadium very friendly and welcoming and the bar service although far from perfect was much better. On the whole the experience was much improved from the Munster game. 

 

 

Aviva Premiership Round 20 

Northampton Saints v Saracens

Saturday 25th April Stadium mk: ko 3:15

 

Saints 25 Saracens 20

 

Personally my journey to the game worked very well using the shuttle buses from the train station and people I spoke to seemed to have had a good trip on the clubs buses. However on observing the chaos caused by the local road closures I have some reservations about how they will cope with the world cup games, bearing in mind that a good proportion of the crowd travelled on the organised club buses.

The match itself was as intense and close as we have come to expect between ourselves and Saracens but nicely without rancour. Initially, Saracens started like a train with Chris Wyle’s scoring in the corner after a maul had dragged in Saints defenders leaving the flank open for Wyles to stroll over. At that point it seemed as though it might turn out to be a long afternoon, but Saints kept their composure and despite a creaking set piece gained two penalties and were just about gaining some parity when Wyles crossed for his second after Saints got turned over faffing about in their own 22. Saints didn’t panic and crafted a try for themselves with Manoa on hand to score from Burrels bullish break   Then it could have got worse as Billy Vunipola charged down Myler’s clearance and looked like he had scored, but careful examination showed he had lost  control of the ball prior to the line. This I feel was the first of four crucial turning points in the match. Had Vunipola scored it would have been very hard for saints to come back. That was virtually it for the big number 8 as shortly afterwards he rolled his ankle in a tackle. This I feel was turning point number two as Vunipola was seemingly Saracens main carrying threat and they started to struggle from that point on. This loss was further exasperated by turning point number three when Jackson Wray on for Vuniploa had to leave the field with a nasty concussion from a collision with Joubert's knee. So at half-time Saints seemed to have weathered Saracens storm and went in only 4 behind trailing 17 points to 13.

The second half resumed with a shirt change for Saracens and a 3 pointer for Hodgson, but there was a subtle change as Saints started to be effective in the scrum changing Ma’afu for the increasingly effective Denman. Turning point number 4 happened soon after with Itoje being carded for tackling Khan without retreating from a quick tap penalty. Saints then piled on the pressure

and added another 2 penalties before Itoje’s return. Momentum was now with Saints who were now starting to dominate the set-piece. It is a moot point whether Saracens efforts last week were now starting to come into  play, personally I think Saracens  were tiring and some of the decision-making that had been so correct in the first half began to go awry. Another 2 penalties from the boot of Myler and Saints now had added another 2 penalties before Itoje’s return. Momentum was now with Saints who were now starting to dominate the set-piece. It is a moot point whether Saracens efforts last week were now starting to come into  play, personally I think Saracens  were tiring and some of the decision-making that had been so correct in the first half began to go awry. Another 2 penalties from the boot of Myler and Saints now had a 4 point advantage and had chances to pull further away. The ground was now rocking and even despite Myler causing a flutter or two hitting the post and giving Sarries one final chance.

So Saints came away with the points and Sarries a losing BP which in all fairness was richly deserved. We all generally had a good day out and much negativity was dispelled about performance and venue, although there are clearly some issues still to be resolved for the stadium organisation for the world cup. Saints' performance though was resilient and will do the team and supporters much good as we get to the climax of the season

 

 

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ComeOnYouSaints.com
News: Saints rediscover their mojo at Stadium mk:
ComeOnYouSaints.com (IP Logged)
26/04/2015 20:55
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StMarlowe1
Re: News: Saints rediscover their mojo at Stadium mk:
St Marlowe (IP Logged)
26/04/2015 21:02
Thanks Bonso - nice report. What a day!!

David L

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

- Live wrong and preposterously

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: News: Saints rediscover their mojo at Stadium mk:
SaintMaul (IP Logged)
26/04/2015 23:59
Nice report. I'd like the 4 turning points approach.

The best thing (apart from the win that virtually guarantees us a home semi final) was we saw some big performances from some of our key players who have been subdued for the last few months such as Dylan, Wood, Manoa and Luther.

On a personal note we took our daughter to her first Saints game after promising she could come when she turned 4. She found it a bit loud!

Meanwhile Sarries now have to hope Bath slip up to have any chance of a home semi.

So all in all, a very satisfying game.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: News: Saints rediscover their mojo at Stadium mk:
St Dormouse (IP Logged)
27/04/2015 08:32
A good day out for all in GB&G. I would like to add my tuppence worth and suggest that for me, at least, a major turning point was Denman on for Ma'afu. Before that point we couldn't win a scrum, after it we couldn't lose! Well done all concerned and onwards and upwards

 
LaurieK
Re: News: Saints rediscover their mojo at Stadium mk:
LaurieK (IP Logged)
27/04/2015 09:06
Claire's first photo is of the situation that gave us the joke of the day. Khan's mascot was as tall as Kahn so after he realised he couldn't stand behind him he moved to offer the lad his scrum half role, then stood in front of him before being in the line alongside each other. Nice moment.

 
StMidge
Re: News: Saints rediscover their mojo at Stadium mk:
StMidge (IP Logged)
27/04/2015 18:06
A good report but to correct one point it was the top of Joubert's head that caused the concussion.

And Kahn's mascot was hilarious, especially if you watch the match again, HRH didn't know who to greet!

 
Flinstone Saint
Re: News: Saints rediscover their mojo at Stadium mk:
Flinstone Saint (IP Logged)
27/04/2015 19:07
Thanks for that Bonso. Sums up a good day nicely.

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