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News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks - Match Preview

By Mobbs
March 10 2016

After a vital away win at Saracens last time out, Northampton Saints welcome Sale Sharks to Franklin's Gardens on Saturday in Round 16 of the 2015/16 Aviva Premiership season. Regular COYSDC contributor Mobbs looks ahead to the game...



AP: Saturday, 12th March 2016 - 2pm




So, a warm glow still remains after the weekend and a very welcome away win in North London against the reigning Champions. The critics lambasted the game as uninspiring and lacking in quality and for sure the Special Ones were lacking more players than Saints but oh what fun it was to win at Allianz Park in the dress rehearsal for the quarters in April.

The Premiership never sleeps this season despite the distraction of the Six Nations and now we must turn our attention to Sale on saturday afternoon. The battle for the top four has never been closer and with both Saracens and Exeter losing last weekend there are six clubs chasing the aforesaid protagonists and the final seven rounds are bound to see multiple changes of fortune over the next two months.

Our visitors have been in decent nick recently and despite a disappointing loss to Worcester at Sixways their form at home has been mightily impressive. Last weekends win over Quins was apparently inspired in the second half by a certain Mr Cipriani who came off the bench to score a conversion and a couple of penalties to add to those of Joe Ford (remember him?) in the first half. Danny Boy has been rather off song with the boot recently and no doubt his decision to defect to Wasps will have upset the brooding Steve Diamond somewhat but I rather suspect that the prodigal son will be back in the ten shirt this time around. A couple more former Saints will probably be in the mix on saturday with the return to the Gardens of Messrs Easter and Mujati. The younger of the Easter brothers was always a popular player whilst wearing the green, black and gold, never a star but in a similar manner to Christian Day, a man who would not let his side down. The man that is Brian Mujati will no doubt get a huge welcome from the Gardens faithfull, a legend in his time with Saints for his strength, his smile and of course his services to the local brewing industry !

Maybe we saw the best of the Mooj and of course Tiny before their, perhaps, unfortunate departures for La Belle France but the South African will still provide a stern test for the Saints front row this time around. We must not forget of course that Daisy, Fodes and Luther are all ex-Sharks and will be more than little keen to get one over their previous employers following yet another disappointing performance in Salford earlier in the season; quite why Saints never turn it on in the hinterland of Manchester no one seems to know and therefore revenge for our earlier reverse would be that much sweeter still.

Our last home game saw a quoted attendance in excess of fourteen thousand for the visit of Worcester but there seemed to be awful lot of empty seats in the new stand whilst some parts of the terrace looked very thin. The impact of the 6N thus continues to take its toll despite staggered kick-off times and whilst I hope that we will see something approaching a genuine full house, I suspect that the competing attraction of England v Wales at headquarters will reduce numbers by some measure.

It was noticeable that Leicester were a very long way short of a full house against Chiefs last sunday in what was a well contested game on the Welford Road mudpatch; there is just something unsettling about swathes of empty seats. I did note a letter in the last issue of TRP in which the correspondent bemoaned the artificial hype promoted at Bath, Newcastle and Quins whilst concluding with the statement  '....leave the music to the fans - best example is at Franklins Gardens.....'. sentiments with which most of us would agree so lets give the lads our utmost support and the officials the benefit of our combined rugby wisdom !

Every game until the end of the season is a big one; for good or bad, Irish, Falcons and Wuss are done and dusted both home and away and with Bath potentially getting out of second gear each of our remaining league games is a toughie. Minimum requirement must be four out of four at home with at least one more away win which would give Saints the sixty-one points which normally would ensure a place in the play-offs.

Drying pitches allied to a little bit of warmth should enable our contingent of South-Sea Islanders to show what they are all about and the eventual return of those on International duty can only help the cause. The climax of the season is all about momentum, nothing is won in  the autumn as Saints found out to their cost last campaign. So the usual Jim style cliches to game at a time....we are looking forward to the challenge....onwards and upwards.... enjoy the game !


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News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks - Match Preview (IP Logged)
10/03/2016 16:10
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Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks - Match Preview
SaintED (IP Logged)
10/03/2016 19:20
Excellent preview Mobbs. Daisy already a Saints legend to me smiling smiley

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks - Match Preview
Stockers (IP Logged)
10/03/2016 19:40
Thanks very much Mobbs, good preview.

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks - Match Preview
HRsaints fan (IP Logged)
11/03/2016 08:58
Really good read Mobbs. Many thanks

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks - Match Preview
Saintsby (IP Logged)
11/03/2016 10:39
Good preview sets the mood for a really tough game. Nervy? Moi? bleddy always!!!

Flinstone Saint
Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks - Match Preview
Flinstone Saint (IP Logged)
11/03/2016 11:00
Excellent read. Many thanks Mobbs.


Please sponsor me for Saints with Heart []

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks - Match Preview
Saint Tim (IP Logged)
11/03/2016 11:08
Good suff

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Benjamin Franklin

Tetleys Block F E143

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks - Match Preview
Wee Jim (IP Logged)
11/03/2016 11:52
Excellent preview Mobbs
"enjoy the game !" This is what its all about - looking forward to Saturday.
@SaintPiran dont worry pessimism is at normal levels. Its a must win game after all

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks - Match Preview
SaintPaddy (IP Logged)
11/03/2016 14:11
Thank you - good read.

Re: News: AP: Northampton Saints vs Sale Sharks - Match Preview
CraiginWootton (IP Logged)
11/03/2016 17:11
Nicely penned smiling smiley

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