Apr 11, 2014
Saracens vs Northampton - Preview
Saracens face second placed Northampton Saints on Sunday afternoon in round 19 of the Aviva Premiership, here Henry Fraser previews this weekend's opponents.
Northampton - Form guide, won 14, drawn 1, lost 3.
After setting a record for most premiership wins in a row, the Saints progress towards finishing in top spot took a big knock. Back to back losses away to Sale and at home to Leicester has left them seven points behind Sarries and only seven points above the Tigers.
If they can regain the form they started the season with then they will be very tough to beat come the end of the season.
It was very evident that their losses came after the internationals had returned from duty. They had all played a lot of rugby and were clearly tired. All of them were rested for the Amlin quarter-final last week so will be wanting to get back out there this weekend.
The match will be won up front this Saturday, especially at the set piece. The battle of the big boys in the forwards will be a great one to watch.
It's around the pitch that the Saints forwards cause most of their damage. They are all capable of big carries and almost unstoppable when on a role. The likes of Samu Manoa and. Closing them down early is vital for Sarries, it will be a big test of for the Wolfpack.
Recent injuries has caused problems in the backs for Northampton, however the recent return of Ben Foden is key. His return has given stability and confidence to the rest of the back line. Their counter attacking options are increased massively with him in the side along with the giant George North. Any bad kicks and kick chases will be punished, both must be as efficient as ever.
8/3/14 Northampton Saints 26 - 7 Saracens
1/2/14 Northampton Saints 20 - 16 Saracens
26/10/13 Northampton Saints 41 - 20 Saracens
Player to watch
Samu Manoa - This man has become so key for Saints. Very few players have a presence on the rugby pitch like him. He is a giant of man that can really shift for someone of his size. In attack he has become the prominent ball carrier for Northampton. He has a great ability to break tackles and create huge front foot ball. His defence alongside Courtney Lawes can push teams back and halt them in their tracks.