Apr 06, 2016
The Road To The Quarter Final
With the return of European rugby, and with it the quarter final fixture between Saracens and Northampton Saints, just days away we took a trip down European memory lane to remind ourselves of how these two old rivals, who have never met in a European fixture before, made their way to the knockout stages of European rugby’s premier competition before they lock horns on the evening on of the 9th April.
Saracens’ road to the quarter finals was an exhibition of rugby prowess as they dominated their fellow pool opponents. 220 points in the group stages, the most of any team, saw Saracens storm to victory over giants Ulster and Toulouse and newcomers Oyonnax. From attack to defence, Sarries were unstoppable. 26 tries matched 700 tackles as the Men in Black powered through to the knock out stages, showing style and flair that belied their reputation as defensive powerhouses. It was an unbeaten campaign for Saracens who finishes the group stages as the number one seeded team.
Northampton Saints had a trickier road to Allianz Park, squeaking in to the knock out stages in eight position. Wins against Glasgow and Scarlets were balanced out by a 30 point defeat to Racing Metro before a draw against the French side at Franklins Gardens. Their last gasp win at Glasgow, thanks to a Harry Mallinder try in the final play of the game, was key to their qualification and introduced Mallinder, who made his European debut that day, as a bright talent for the future. Despite their mixed group stages campaign Northampton are previous European Champions and will provide a stern test for the home side.
The group stages also saw some stand out individual performances, Saracens England stars Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje were particularly impressive while Saints’ Mallinder proved his worth and George North showcased his speed and power in attack, making the most metres in the Saints side. Away with their countries for the Six Nations, North was perhaps Wales’ star performer in the Six Nations while Itoje earned a Man of the Match performance for England against Wales. Farrell has continued his fine form through the Six Nations and on his return to his Club, being named man of the match in an impressive Sarries performance against Exeter.
To get your tickets for the return of knock out rugby to Allianz Park please click here or call the ticket office on 0845 847 1876.