I’m writing this report on the. Monday evening after the game therefore knowing I’m going to be dreading watching the recorded match! I was as lots will know watching that other code of rugby in Cardiff on Saturday and deliberately didn’t check teams or read any reports before this point; I did however know the result. I was expecting to see a vastly changed team but that it seems isn’t the case. My biggest concern before the game started? Nils Mordt at fly half facing Steven Myler, as far as I know Nils didn’t have game time and, sorry fellow Saracens fans, in my opinion he’s not good enough to face top class opposition and Northampton are certainly that!
Ten minutes in and the end scoreline isn’t looking likely, things clearly changed! And lo and behold a brilliant try by Saints after an amazing break by Samu Monoa and great support to send Jamie Elliot over the line. 14 minutes in I’m going to have to ask, are the commentators Northampton fans?? I honestly thought TV people were meant to be unbiased?!? Moving on, and we’ll see if that rant gets repeated!
Now bearing in mind I’m watching Saracens playing here and they sit top of the league the next passage of play was dreadful! As both Schalk Brits and Duncan Taylor try to catch the same ball! A basic error, since when do they not call the ball as theirs? It looked as if Saints would be straight in to score again as the Pisi brothers Ken and George combined with a thrilling 80m run, but in an attempt to keep the ball alive it ended in the hands of the men in washy washy grey. The next attack was Saracens a good tackle from Elliot on David Strettle preventing a score. Nils Mordt put in a lovely looping pass to Alex Goode to put a question to the video ref. Good work by Ben Foden however, one of Goode’s competitors for the England shirt, thwarted Saracens again.
Northampton made a break that should have resulted in a try, and I think would have if Kahn Fotuali’i had passed the ball rather than seek the line. The ball was held in the ruck but Goode missed touch with the resulting penalty, now I’ve never played rugby but I really do think that’s a basic requirement when kicking! This has been my first chance to watch Northampton and two players are really looking impressive, Luther Burrell storming down the pitch with the ball in one hand and Sam Dickson at 8, he seems to be everywhere! Great to know they’re both English! Inevitably Northampton get the next score with Manoa side stepping round Goode to go over the line. Watching the score again it’s very hard to imagine he wears no 4 on his back!
30 minutes on the clock and it’s hard to imagine that Saracens are the team at the top of the league, Schalk Brits a real favourite at Allianz Park for one making several uncharacteristic errors. Another interesting prospect Ethan Waller at prop in opposition to Matt Stevens looks a very good player, clearly rattling Stevens the more scrums he helps to win, hope he’s English too! A penalty for Saracens after some strong defending by Saints was converted by Goode and the teams went in with the score at Northampton 17 Saracens 6
And so the 2nd half begins, with lots of scores to come I can see that this isn’t going to be joyful, let’s get it over with! A mistake by Wigglesworth gives Saints a line out deep in the Saracens half. Another exciting passage of play by the home team including a strong run by Burrell sees Ben Foden go in to score with just over 42 minutes on the clock. Saracens found themselves in unusual territory defending their line against a formidable Saints pack and were lucky not to find a man in the bin. A relieving knock on and a win at the resulting scrum and yes I am now shouting at the TV another penalty missing touch saw Foden run in to score the bonus point try! Feeling a bit like men against boys at this point!
At this point I must give a warning, girl comment coming and I don’t do this often…. Marcelo Bosch replaces Tagicakibau, oh my word!! That’s all I’m saying, but that’s a photo opportunity I’m looking forward to! Jacques Burger leaves the pitch at 58 minutes, he played a belter in the Saracens pack, but it has to be said at this point I can’t really comment on my concerns about Mordt as the forwards just haven’t provided him with a platform. However as I type that Duncan Taylor goes in to score after a good pass from Mordt, I’ve been very impressed with Taylor this season he’s taken the chance he’s been given and will hopefully get to wear the Scotland shirt at some stage.
Oh my word I just clapped my hands and shouted at a passage of play by Saints as Luther Burrell kicks the ball ahead Goode lets it bounce and George Pisi collects the ball, passes it to his brother with a brilliant flick from his left hand, Ken Pisi then passed inside to Burrell, who scored what was a brilliant try! That was a truly exciting passage of play!
At 65 minutes and a virtually new Saracens team on the pitch the score stands at 36 to 13 not too much pain left! Great to see Dom Waldouck come on as a sub for Saints I hadn’t spotted his name on the list. Saracens in a very dominating spot and with Kelly Brown in possession take a decision to the video and are awarded a consolation try, with no clear and obvious reason not to award the try. As I comment at Saracens I really wish the audience would be more gracious about accepting the officials decisions. The change of line up for Saracens paid dividends, but the last word was to go to Northampton in spite of better work by the men in grey. A question of timing on substitutions has to be asked, it it’s not working? Change it!
And yep! More claps for Saints next try, I really must stop doing that! A huge pass by Steven Myler moved on to Ken. Pisi who scored a lovely try. The final score Northampton 41 Saracens 20 the biggest defeat faced by the team I support for over 4 years. Credit to Saints they played some great rugby and were very deserving of the win and the scoreline. As for Saracens? This week is going to be very interesting at the training ground as we head into 2 weeks of LV Cup games. Exeter Chiefs must be rubbing their hands together in anticipation for the next Premiership match on 23rd November!