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News: Saints Strong for Sale?

By Mobbs
October 28 2015

Sunday, 1st November 2015 KO 2.30pm   Mobbs takes a look ahead at the 3rd game in the Premiership season.    

Ah, the delights of playing away 'oop north' with the attendent pleasures of the M6 at a weekend. Never the easiest of journeys even in the early hours of the morning but no doubt hard core Saints fans will tackle the task with gusto. Heywood Road and Edgeley Park seem distant memories now that the Sharks have taken up residence at the A J Bell stadium in the hinterland of Manchester just across the road from Barton Airfield. To be honest, the home of the Sharks is not the most cosy of grounds surrounded by the aforesaid airfield, sewage farm, canal and motorway with the Trafford centre just down the road. Its a stadium that needs a good crowd to be rocking and rolling so lets hope that with the RWC finally over, Sharks and Saints turn up in good numbers. Hopefully the sun may shine because it can get a little bleak when the wind blows and rain comes down. First time visitors should also be aware that leaving the car park can take some time but then again Saints fans are used to that ! 

Both sides have had a patchy start to the season with opening weekend losses on the road followed up by more convincing performances at home for the Sharks and for the Saints 'on tour' at Milton Keynes. Saints will not look back too fondly upon this fixture last campaign as a very lacklustre away performance allied to some very odd selections amongst the forwards came up against Danny Cipriani in fine form whilst trying to force a way into Bomber's World Cup squad. This time around Steve Diamond will be anxious to create another fortress at Salford whilst the Saints will be equally keen to regain some ground to make up for their abject performance at Sixways two weeks ago. 

On paper the Saints should have the stronger squad but Sale have some wily old heads amongst their ranks in the form of Messrs Seymour, Stringer, Macleod and Braid who lead by example at all times. The mercurial Cipriani needs to be contained and prevented from being given too many cheap shots at goal. If Sam Tuitupou and Johnny Leota raise their game then Saints could be in for a difficult afternoon. A well-known and much loved brewer from Towcester could also be in the mix giving Saints fans a difficult task for eighty minutes in order to forget that Brian Mujati is no longer a 'Saintsman'; it is well known that The Mooj regretted leaving the Gardens but we can expect no charity from him on sunday ! No doubt, Bill Beaumont will have made the return journey from headquarters to watch son Josh put in another eye-catching performance for Sale, perhaps Bomber will be in the crowd ? 

Jim Mallinder may have a few selection issues this weekend following last weeks reasonably comfortable performance over the Falcons. The pack should remain unchanged unless Calum Clark is back in the mix with the Waller brothers seemingly comfortable at loosehead. Courtney will no doubt be strapped up as much as ever but looked as if he was getting back into some club form after his England disappointment whilst Christian Day will be looking for even more opportunities to become Saints leading try scorer in the manner of Thomas the Tank Engine. I would be surprised if we did not see some rotation amongst the backs with King Kahn starting at scrum half and club captain Lee Dickson dropping back to the bench. A big question mark lies in the centre where there must be a real temptation to play new boy Hanrahan at inside with Luther Burrell easing out to number thirteen. This combination will no doubt have been tested during the week and could provide Saints with a new series of attacking options not seen at the Gardens for some years. On the wing it is possible that George North may get the starting shirt but I have a feeling that he may just warm the bench for fifty minutes and then be unleashed upon a tiring Sharks team. Ben Foden will look forward to playing against his old team once more with his new hairstyle getting grief from all Sale players other than David Seymour ! 

A tight game should be in prospect on Sunday with both sides eager to put pressure on early leaders Saracens who should have done the business over New York Irish the day before. Pure and simple bias leaves me to conclude that the Saints may win this one by a single score but that does very much depend on whether the team turns up unlike last season. Sadly work commitments will prevent me from making the trek up the M6 this time around but as ever I will be there in spirit looking forward to our first experience of the Barwell Stand in a weeks time. 


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News: Saints Strong for Sale? (IP Logged)
28/10/2015 18:36
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Re: News: Saints Strong for Sale?
Flinstone Saint (IP Logged)
28/10/2015 18:40
Thanks for this Mobbs.

Apologies to the two people who had already commented on the posting. I couldn't copy those across to the article. Please feel free to add your comments here again.


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Re: News: Saints Strong for Sale?
andysaint (IP Logged)
28/10/2015 20:53
Good article Dad, not sure which way this one is going to go. A lot will depend on the team selection which is rather up in the air I would think too.

Re: News: Saints Strong for Sale?
WesternWanderer (IP Logged)
28/10/2015 21:19
Think selection for this is interesting. Upcoming games in November:

Not sure any player can play all of those games, so surely going to start rotating to be able to perform at their best. So my guess at team assuming fitness is:
Kahn, Hanrahan, North, Burrell, GPisi, Eliott, Foden
AWaller, Haywood, Denman, Paterson, Day, Wood, Clark, Dickinson

Re: News: Saints Strong for Sale?
SaintMaul (IP Logged)
29/10/2015 06:31
We really don't want to be heading into a game against Sarries with a won one, lost two record.

Given the importance of momentum and confidence, this feels more of a must win game IMHO or we could see ourselves won one, lost three after four games.

Re: News: Saints Strong for Sale?
HRsaints fan (IP Logged)
29/10/2015 11:04
Good review Mobbs.

Not been a happy hunting ground for us recently. The last win there was almost 3 years ago (30.11.12). So we need to turn this one around and, as SaintMaul has rightly pointed out, we want to be facing Saracens with two wins on the trot under our belts.

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