Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
New Zealand New Zealand
France France

Northampton pinpoint area of improvement needed for Leinster clash

By Josh Raisey
Northampton Saints/ PA

Though Northampton Saints sit at the top of the Gallagher Premiership and have an Investec Champions Cup semi-final on Saturday against Leinster at Croke Park, fullback George Furbank has pinpointed a worrying trend in their recent performances.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Saints fell to Harlequins 41-32 on Saturday at Twickenham despite having a man advantage on three occasions. After going behind to a Luke Northmore try after only a minute played, their poor starts recently are something that Furbank and his teammates are aware of.

The Saints went in at the break behind to Harlequins as they did the previous week against Leicester Tigers before pulling away in the second half. They were drawing with Munster half-time in their Champions Cup round of 16 tie, while they only held a six-point advantage over the Bulls in the quarter-final before moving up a gear in the second 40.

Video Spacer

Chasing the Sun on RugbyPass TV | RPTV

Chasing the Sun, the extraordinary documentary that traces the Springboks’ road to victory at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, is coming to RugbyPass TV.

Watch now

Video Spacer

Chasing the Sun on RugbyPass TV | RPTV

Chasing the Sun, the extraordinary documentary that traces the Springboks’ road to victory at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, is coming to RugbyPass TV.

Watch now

No team in Europe can afford to have a slow start against Leinster, which is something the Saints will want to work on over the coming week.

“We are pretty disappointed,” Furbank said to Northampton when reviewing the loss to Harlequins.

Fixture
Investec Champions Cup
Leinster
20 - 17
Full-time
Northampton
All Stats and Data

“It was a game we thought we should have won, but we probably didn’t put our game on the pitch at all in the first half, missed a few opportunities, and they scored a bit too easily for our liking.

“It became a bit scrappy, and we had a few handling errors and a few silly decisions at the breakdown that allowed Quins into our half, and allowed them to do what they do pretty well.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We can definitely take positives out that game though, we had enough opportunities to win. We weren’t miles off of it, we just didn’t put our game on the park which is the most frustrating thing. So, we will take positives from the game, but overall it was disappointing.

“We have had a few poor starts in games recently. Against Tigers, we didn’t put our game on the park as much as we wanted to, but then came out in the second half of that game and executed really well.

“At half-time this weekend we felt we were operating at about a five out of ten, and believed that if we got that higher in the second half, we would win the game. Ultimately, we conceded too easily and made too many mistakes in attack.”

Despite this trend, the Saints have plenty of reasons to be positive heading to Dublin given the season they have had so far.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We have got a massive week ahead which we are really excited for,” said Furbank.

“There will be a real excitement around training throughout the week which we are really looking forward to.

“Dows [Phil Dowson] has spoken about making memories in Europe, and we have done that so far. We’ve been away to Glasgow and won, away at Munster and won, and then beat them in the Round-of-16 at home.

“They are memories already made, and we are hoping to go to Leinster and make another one.

“Croke Park is going to be a hell of an atmosphere, probably one that even international boys haven’t experienced before, so we’re buzzing for that and are determined to get our game on the pitch against Leinster.”

Related

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

USER NOTICE:

As part of a series of planned improvements, we will need you to reset your RugbyPass password from 24/07/24 to continue commenting on articles.

You don’t need to change anything until that time.

Thank you,

Comments

0 Comments
Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

W
Wonton 6 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

23 Go to comments
N
Nick 7 hours ago
How 'gazelle' Nick Frost thawed the hearts of Wallaby fans at Suncorp

Its almost like you read my comment on the other site on sunday morning Nick - you flagged all the same examples! 😝 Frost was motm for mine. That eg in the 56th minute in particular impressed me, nothing but sheer effort and a dupont/smith-like tracking line behind the D. Surely an effort like that from frost marries perfectly with that quote from schmidt at the start of the year about effort and work rate being 70-80% and talent is just the icing on top… What it also showed though was the players not making that effort, in that example he goes past both valetini and ikitau, and in the eg that finished with valetini scoring hunter paisami barely breaks a canter to support the break. And then there was the chase from wright and lancaster for the 2nd georgian try! One blemish - at kickoff I saw frost miss or get bumped off a few tackles and I felt like I saw what has been holding his selection back. I think because he is so big and is trying to get low to tackle, he seems to dip his head and ends up losing his balance or ability to adjust and ends up missing or making a soft hit. I think in the first 2 minutes he misses or makes 2-3 soft tackles, but you could clearly see the work rate and desire! He (the pod) also missed a kick restart or two? Also very happy to see harry wilson back in the fold. What impressed me from him wasn’t all the usual stuff he is known for, but all the other bits that usually let him down. He looked surprisingly good in the air at lineout time, physical at the breakdown, and good in the maul peeling off 3 georgians for one of the maul tries. Id have frost, skelton, wright as my 4-6 with LSL and wilson on the bench. i’m once again unconvinced by tom wirght - he was very good game 1, but game 2-3 he was back to more rocks than diamonds. There is no real other player to usurp him really so he stays in the team for now but I think Joe should put kellaway wherever he serves the team best and wright can be moved around him. Did donno do enough to overtake noah? My gut says no. They clearly had a plan to attack more so he looked better in that regard because he just had more opportunity, but they looked better off tate (who had a v good game also) then they did off donno.

25 Go to comments
TRENDING
TRENDING Andy Goode: My British & Irish Lions XV a year out Irish still dominate Lions line-up a year out from Wallabies series
Search