Koch: The Showdown will feel like a test match!
Vincent Koch believes facing the Bristol Bears at the iconic Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is sure to be a ‘very special occasion’.
The Bears, who were semi-finalists in the Premiership last year, will be renewing their rivalry with the ‘Men in Black’ in what is sure to be a thrilling encounter on Saturday, 26 March.
The “Showdown 2 in Association with City Index” between Saracens and Bristol will be hosted at the 60 000 capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – which is one of the newest and most exciting venues in Europe – with hordes of fans set to fill up the stands for one of the most highly-anticipated clashes of the Gallagher Premiership season.
“Personally I haven’t been to Tottenham Stadium, but some of the other guys have and spoke of how unbelievable it is,” Koch commented.
“We love playing on football pitches, it’s on another level, and we love going to different locations. We’ve enjoyed decent results when playing at the likes of Wembley or London Stadium, so we’re excited for this special occasion and different sort of challenge. Over the last two years we couldn’t really have too many people at the stadiums, so to possibly have a full house and put on a rugby show for the fans is a really exciting prospect. I think it will almost feel like a Test match with the crowd that we’re expecting to turn up.”
A decent run of recent results for Saracens – most notably last Saturday’s win over log-leaders Leicester Tigers – has seen the North London club move into second place on the Premiership table, while Bristol are climbing the table.
“It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster for us this season with a few ups and downs, but in the last few weeks we’ve started building some nice momentum,” Koch said. “The squad is in a good space and we’ve got very strong goals that we’ve set at a time when we are missing our international players. Everyone has bought into the plan and we’re start to seeing glimpses of what Saracens is all about.
“Our perfect picture is to give a full 80-minute performance, and we’ve only had one or two games like that this season, so it is very exciting if we can start to string more of those types of efforts together. We’re playing a different brand of rugby at the moment, we’re making and taking chances, where in the past we relied a lot on our kicking game plan, so that’s exciting to see. But now we just need to cut out some errors that have crept in at times.”
“Bristol started slowly this season, but they haven’t had a lot of changes to their squad and made the semi-finals last year,” Koch reiterated.
“They’ve got a strong team and settled players and coaches, so I think it will be a massive game for both teams. We’re trying to build our points on the log, and they’re trying to rescue their slow start.
“It’s going to be a massive battle. I think they’ve got a strong pack of physical forwards, and that’s something we also pride ourselves on. They’ll want to make a statement up front to be able to release their exciting backs, but we’ve got our own plans, so I think it should make for a really exciting game.”