Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

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Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 10:47 am

First topic message reminder :

Fixtures

13-Aug Castres Olympique 31 - 14 Saints Rugby Club Du Rougier XV
20-Aug Saints 32 - 19 Cornish Pirates Franklin's Gardens
20-Aug Saints 52 - 5 Rotherham Titans Franklin's Gardens

26-Aug Ulster 29 - 19 Saints Kingspan Stadium
03-Sep Saints 14 - 18 Bath Rugby Franklin's Gardens

11-Sep Bristol Rugby 0 - 0 Saints Ashton Gate
17-Sep Saracens 0 - 0 Saints Allianz Park
24-Sep Saints 0 - 0 Wasps Franklin's Gardens
30-Sep Saints 0 - 0 Exeter Chiefs Franklin's Gardens
08-Oct Harlequins 0 - 0 Saints Twickenham Stoop
28-Oct Saints 0 - 0 Gloucester Rugby Franklin's Gardens
06-Nov Newcastle Falcons 0 - 0 Saints Kingston Park
12-Nov Saints 0 - 0 Gloucester Rugby Franklin's Gardens
18-Nov Worcester Warriors 0 - 0 Saints Sixways Stadium
25/26/27 Nov Saints 0 - 0 Newcastle Falcons Franklin's Gardens
02/03/04 Dec Leicester Tigers 0 - 0 Saints Welford Road
23/24/26 Dec Saints 0 - 0 Sale Sharks Franklin's Gardens
30/31 Dec / Jan 1 Gloucester Rugby 0 - 0 Saints Kingsholm
06/07/08 Jan Saints 0 - 0 Bristol Rugby Franklin's Gardens
27/28/29 Jan Leicester Tigers 0 - 0 Saints Welford Road
03/04/05 Feb Saints 0 - 0 Scarlets Franklin's Gardens
10/11/12 Feb Bath Rugby 0 - 0 Saints Recreation Ground
17/18/19 Feb Newcastle Falcons 0 - 0 Saints Kingston Park
24/25/26 Feb Saints 0 - 0 Worcester Warriors Franklin's Gardens
03/04/05 Mar Sale Sharks 0 - 0 Saints The AJ Bell Stadium
24/25/26 Mar Saints 0 - 0 Leicester Tigers Franklin's Gardens
09-Apr Wasps 0 - 0 Saints Ricoh Arena
14/15/16 Apr Saints 0 - 0 Saracens Franklin's Gardens
28/29/30 Apr Exeter Chiefs 0 - 0 Saints Sandy Park Stadium
5/6/7 May Saints 0 - 0 Harlequins Franklin's Gardens


Coaches

Jim Mallinder - DoR
Dorien West - Head Coach
Alan Dickens - Asst Coach
Alex King - Asst Coach


Squad

Charlie Clare Hooker
Dylan Hartley Hooker
Mike Haywood Hooker
Kieran Brookes Prop
Gareth Denman Prop
Paul Hill Prop
Campese Ma'afu Prop
Adam Parkins Prop
Alex Waller Prop
Ethan Waller Prop
James Craig Lock
Christian Day Lock
Sam Dickinson Lock
Courtney Lawes Lock
Michael Paterson Lock
Sion Bennett Flanker
Calum Clark Flanker
Jamie Gibson Flanker
Teimana Harrison Flanker
Ben Nutley Flanker
Tom Wood Flanker
Louis Picamoles Number 8
Lee Dickson Scrum-half
Nic Groom Scrum-half
Tom Kessell Scrum-half
JJ Hanrahan Fly-half
Stephen Myler Fly-half
Luther Burrell Centre
George Pisi Centre
Tom Stephenson Centre
James Wilson Centre
Tom Collins Wing
Jamie Elliott Wing
George North Wing
Ken Pisi Wing
Ben Foden Fullback
Ahsee Tuala Fullback
Harry Mallinder Messiah


Last edited by LondonTiger on Mon 05 Sep 2016, 8:36 am; edited 4 times in total

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 3:54 am

doctor_grey wrote:Hoping it is televised here.
4 live games here but Saints are not one of them unfortunately. Saying that I'm just happy to be getting live games again!

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 8:52 am

B91212 wrote:
I understand what you are saying but still think Toomua is a better 10 than both Burns and Williams. If Youngs gets quick ball then him standing at 10 could really open teams up. Can see a 10/12/13 of Toomua, Manu and JPP being deployed.

I think Burns is a better 10 than Toomua personally. Williams could be. Pretty sure that if Manu played at 12 we would see Betham at 13 not JPP.

Anyway less of the Leicester talk and back to Saints.


With just the away trip to Ulster before the AP season starts, will we maybe see an indication of Jim's thoughts on the first choice line-up this week?

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 10:37 am

That is what I am hoping to see.  What ever the starting XV are, they should have game time together before the season gets rolling.    

Those matches against the Cornwall and Rotherham were pretty much the entire roster divided down the middle:  Experience, youth, and fringe players all on the same team.  The point that  I made earlier was how amazed I was at the talent level in both teams - either would be a decent Premiership level team.  Combined, there is real strength and real potential and I doubt we would have seen this depth in the past.  This is one big reason I am hopeful.  Since the pack should be fine, I think the season hinges on how Myler plays, if he can get some rest, who fills in, and if Saints can get some creativity from the 12.  That could be the difference between finishing in the top 6, top 4, or better.

By the way, I think Leicester could probably divide themselves down the middle the way Saints did and also field two competitive teams.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 10:50 am

Where did you pick up Sion Bennett from and when? He looked a good blindside at U20 level.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 12:23 pm

I seem to remember him appearing in the squad towards the end of last season, can't remember any anouncements though. I don't think he has played an AP match yet.

Is he a good prospect as he will ahve his work cut out getting game time with Saints back row assets

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 1:43 pm

A decent prospect but would have had his work cut out either way. He's a good all-rounder but I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for from your back-row.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 3:40 pm

Neither am I, will find out next Saturday. I suspect an Eddie Jones style clear out operation with the likes of Lawes, Waller, Hill and Hartley following to secure ball.

In attack, runners coming in narrow and at pace onto pop passes from Dickson/Groom making ground and tying up defenders until holes appear. That is how we used to play a few years ago and it was very successful, we seem to have h=got the players to do it again this year with Picamoles and Harrison particularly suited.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 4:08 pm

All ages based at next birthday (for dramatic effect)

Dickson (32), Myler(33), Wilson (34), Burrell (29), G Pisi (31), Ken Pisi (29), Ben Foden (32)


Could be the oldest back division in AP?

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by munkian on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 4:34 pm

Any possibility of North being played in the centre more ? Purely interested in his international development but he needs to get some experience at club level.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 4:49 pm

I had completely forgotten North was still at Saints Very Happy

I blame my age.


Looking at comments from the Saints fans, it seems that he has already achieved a reputation for Teflon Hands - not an ideal attribute if he is to be moved closer to the action.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 5:15 pm

In the off season and in pre-season there was a lot of discussion about how to get the ball wider to make sure the wings are involved more. Unfortunately, Tom Stephenson was part of the strategy. I haven't heard much about bringing North inside to 12/13, especially with G. Pisi and Burrell who can/should play 13. Certainly North needed to run inside lines from the wing position more, but I believe that was addressed when North signed his newer contract.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 5:18 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I had completely forgotten North was still at Saints Very Happy

I blame my age.


Looking at comments from the Saints fans, it seems that he has already achieved a reputation for Teflon Hands - not an ideal attribute if he is to be moved closer to the action.
I think most people are thinking about how poor North was under kicks when he first arrived at Saints.  I don't think North has had too much opportunity to distribute to anyone when standing out there lonely on the wing.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 7:31 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I had completely forgotten North was still at Saints Very Happy

I blame my age.


Looking at comments from the Saints fans, it seems that he has already achieved a reputation for Teflon Hands - not an ideal attribute if he is to be moved closer to the action.
I think most people are thinking about how poor North was under kicks when he first arrived at Saints.  I don't think North has had too much opportunity to distribute to anyone when standing out there lonely on the wing.


Perhaps he needs to get a deodorant sponsor............or two.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 8:08 pm

[quote="munkian"]Any possibility of North being played in the centre more ? Purely interested in his international development but he needs to get some experience at club level. [/quote

Saints have a number of centre options with Pisi, Burrell and the new Puma all senior options and then the quality academy graduates Mallinder Jnr and Stephenson. Not quite so many options out on the wing where North is more comfortable and where he could be far more destructive if he starts looking for work and coming off his wing.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 9:08 pm

With Stephenson out for the foreseeable future with a double break to his leg, the options are more limited. Burrell is now viewed as a 13 I think, distributions skills not good enough for 12. Pisi was well off form for most of last year so the 12 spot is left for Prince Harry, Burrell, Pisi and Estelles fighting it out for 13 plus the potential of North.

I quite like the idea of Estelles at 13 with Myler and PH inside him, Myler has a great miss-pass and PH will command the attention of the defence due to his size and offloading ability. Being a 7s player as well as being in the full 15s squad, he should be very quick and also defensively sound.




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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Fri 26 Aug 2016, 10:11 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:With Stephenson out for the foreseeable future with a double break to his leg, the options are more limited. Burrell is now viewed as a 13 I think, distributions skills not good enough for 12. Pisi was well off form for most of last year so the 12 spot is left for Prince Harry, Burrell, Pisi and Estelles fighting it out for 13 plus the potential of North.

I quite like the idea of Estelles at 13 with Myler and PH inside him, Myler has a great miss-pass and PH will command the attention of the defence due to his size and offloading ability. Being a 7s player as well as being in the full 15s squad, he should be very quick and also defensively sound.
The problem now becomes the person who will function as the back-up 12. Prince Harry for all his physical size is still a kid. He should not play every week. Maybe three out of four, with the fourth a complete break from contact (that is both the parent and doc speaking). Burrell was fine at 12 when Saints played a direct off-loading game with attacking variation coming in from fullback.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Fri 26 Aug 2016, 10:19 am

Just saw the lineup for the match at Ulster.  Not quite the starting XV for the season.  Prince Harry is at 12, so a big match for him.  It could be the starting back line, except for North missing.  But the forwards seem a bit still in experimentation mode.  If Saints can rotate the front row effectively, with four good Props and two good Hookers, that would go a long way to preserve team strength all season.  I think Saints need to see big games from Paterson, Craig, Gibson in the forwards.  

Saints team to face Ulster:
Foden; K Pisi, Burrell, Mallinder, Tuala; Myler, Dickson; A Waller, Hartley, Brookes; Paterson, Craig; Wood (c), Gibson, Picamoles.

Replacements: Ma’afu, Haywood, Hill, Lawes, Onojaife, Marshall, Ludlum, Dickinson, Groom, Hanrahan, Packman, G Pisi, Estelles, Collins, Furbank.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Fri 26 Aug 2016, 8:23 pm

I assume no limit to replacements as there are 15 on the bench. Can't understand Gibson at 7 unless they are playing L&R.

Hopefully Onojaife can pick up a bit and provide a genuine contender for either Day's or Lawes' shirt, with Day out for a while, lock is looking a bit lightweight. It is a given that Hartley will be gone for at least 10 games, so hopefully Marshall will fulfil his promise and offer good back up to Haywood. I would give him a shot tomorrow for 30 minutes to see how he stands up.

Is Harrison being rested? I would have thought some acclimatisation with Picamoles would have been worthwhile.

I hope Burrell has rediscovered the spark he had a couple of years ago for England at 13, in that form, outside PH he would be a force to be reckoned with.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Sat 27 Aug 2016, 11:48 am

Rather hard to know what to make of the match last night. Only report I have seen so far is the BBC report, which is typically thin. Obviously a good show for Ulster, but no info about Saints. Good to see Collins and Estelles grabbed second half tries. The more people in the mix, the better.

On a side note, travelling to Ulster is a bit far just for a pre-season match, don't you think?

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 29 Aug 2016, 1:40 pm

DG - The whole match was streamed on Youtube - ulster rugby TV and is apparently still up there.

The Saints pack looked totally disinterested, especially guys like Hartley, Wood and Picamoles who looked as though they were worried about getting injured. Lawes came off the bench and at least began competing.
Myler never looked comfortable kicking all the penalties to touch while running everything else and it wasn't until Hanrahan came on that the backline started looking dangerous.
Foden had a good game both in attack and defence.

At least watch the highlights as the Piutau offload for Stockdale's try is exceptional.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Mon 29 Aug 2016, 2:12 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:DG - The whole match was streamed on Youtube - ulster rugby TV and is apparently still up there.

The Saints pack looked totally disinterested, especially guys like Hartley, Wood and Picamoles who looked as though they were worried about getting injured. Lawes came off the bench and at least began competing.
Myler never looked comfortable kicking all the penalties to touch while running everything else and it wasn't until Hanrahan came on that the backline started looking dangerous.
Foden had a good game both in attack and defence.

At least watch the highlights as the Piutau offload for Stockdale's try is exceptional.
Thanks! I am home this week and I will put on the match rover lunch.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by Notch on Mon 29 Aug 2016, 2:56 pm

Lawes caused us all sorts of problems when he came on, but most of the big name Saints forwards were totally underwhelming. I was surprised that they were so impotent when it came to getting their maul set, although I know we're really good at defending them.

I definitely thought we were going to lose before the game. I thought the team we had out in the first half was good enough to make that 40 minutes really close on the scoreboard but the bench you had was so much more powerful than ours and I thought we'd be blown away in the last 20. We definitely were, but the amazing part was how much more clinical and ruthless we were in the first 40. 24-0 at HT was not expected! It was a sloppy first 40 from Northampton.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 29 Aug 2016, 4:40 pm

Interesting views on the ref by the commentators, they got it correct with regard to being a bit OCD. Needs to learn about players on the floor holding onto the mauling players legs, that is the same as collapsing the maul.

Saints didn't turn up in the first half, a long way from being their best pack with Patterson and Craig at lock and playing two sixes as well. I think Saints best tight 5 would have shunted the Ulster pack around a fair bit.

Good points, Brookes looks better than last year, Groom looks the part, will probably supplant Dickson later this season, Burrell looks sharp at 13, he had a very good game. At 13 he is a very plausible alternative to Manu. Lawes is starting where he left off, posing Eddie selection problems.

Foden was quick and safe, running some lovely lines and the last thing was Prince Harry playing the last 20 or so at 10 and not looking at all out of place or short of time. Massive boot on him for touch line kicks, accurate too.


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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by Welly on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 9:47 am

Trouble for Burrell is England isn't looking at Manu @13 they are wanting him to play 12 for England this has been confirmed by Eddie Jones and Manu himself.

So the players Burrell is up against at 13 are the likes of Daly and JJ who have completely different skill sets to him.

Burrell IMO is not going to feature for England again.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 11:04 am

Finally watched the match. I thought Saints had a good initial burst at the start of the match then went straight into sleep mode. Unfortunately for Saints, Ulster were wide awake and went right after the sleeping beauties. It did seem to appear no one wanted to get hurt. But Ulster were entertaining.

I agree about the positives. Foden, Lawes, Brookes, Groom, Collins, and, of course, Prince Harry. Even, dare I say, JJ was useful.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by munkian on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 11:36 am

Notch wrote:Lawes caused us all sorts of problems when he came on, but most of the big name Saints forwards were totally underwhelming. I was surprised that they were so impotent when it came to getting their maul set, although I know we're really good at defending them.

I definitely thought we were going to lose before the game. I thought the team we had out in the first half was good enough to make that 40 minutes really close on the scoreboard but the bench you had was so much more powerful than ours and I thought we'd be blown away in the last 20. We definitely were, but the amazing part was how much more clinical and ruthless we were in the first 40. 24-0 at HT was not expected! It was a sloppy first 40 from Northampton.

Even the Dragons managed to beat the Saints in a pre season game - wasn't impressed by the Saints big name players either.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by beshocked on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 11:44 am

Welly wrote: Trouble for Burrell is England isn't looking at Manu @13 they are wanting him to play 12 for England this has been confirmed by Eddie Jones and Manu himself.

So the players Burrell is up against at 13 are the likes of Daly and JJ who have completely different skill sets to him.

Burrell IMO is not going to feature for England again.

Burrell in 2014 had a good season for England as a 13. I wouldn't write him off.

Could work in his favour that he's a different player to Daly and Joseph.

Burrell partnering Slade or Mallinder for England could work IMO.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 5:02 pm

beshocked wrote:
Welly wrote: Trouble for Burrell is England isn't looking at Manu @13 they are wanting him to play 12 for England this has been confirmed by Eddie Jones and Manu himself.

So the players Burrell is up against at 13 are the likes of Daly and JJ who have completely different skill sets to him.

Burrell IMO is not going to feature for England again.

Burrell in 2014 had a good season for England as a 13. I wouldn't write him off.

Could work in his favour that he's a different player to Daly and Joseph.

Burrell partnering Slade or Mallinder for England could work IMO.
I think we are going to see the (Prince Harry) Mallinder-Burrell partnership in action quite soon. Probably as soon as Saturday afternoon.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by beshocked on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 5:14 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
beshocked wrote:
Welly wrote: Trouble for Burrell is England isn't looking at Manu @13 they are wanting him to play 12 for England this has been confirmed by Eddie Jones and Manu himself.

So the players Burrell is up against at 13 are the likes of Daly and JJ who have completely different skill sets to him.

Burrell IMO is not going to feature for England again.

Burrell in 2014 had a good season for England as a 13. I wouldn't write him off.

Could work in his favour that he's a different player to Daly and Joseph.

Burrell partnering Slade or Mallinder for England could work IMO.
I think we are going to see the (Prince Harry) Mallinder-Burrell partnership in action quite soon.  Probably as soon as Saturday afternoon.  

Think it's a good choice. Plenty of physicality too. Especially with North on one wing too.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by Notch on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 5:31 pm

munkian wrote:
Notch wrote:Lawes caused us all sorts of problems when he came on, but most of the big name Saints forwards were totally underwhelming. I was surprised that they were so impotent when it came to getting their maul set, although I know we're really good at defending them.

I definitely thought we were going to lose before the game. I thought the team we had out in the first half was good enough to make that 40 minutes really close on the scoreboard but the bench you had was so much more powerful than ours and I thought we'd be blown away in the last 20. We definitely were, but the amazing part was how much more clinical and ruthless we were in the first 40. 24-0 at HT was not expected! It was a sloppy first 40 from Northampton.

Even the Dragons managed to beat the Saints in a pre season game - wasn't impressed by the Saints big name players either.

Well let's just see who wins between Ulster and the Dragons then boxing Wink

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 31 Aug 2016, 10:39 am

Saints aren't generally that good when their players are coming back in, we've seen it a few times before. They're also due a thrashing in a big game as well, but aside from that they'll probably do well.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Wed 31 Aug 2016, 5:18 pm

Just found out that we are getting the Saints Bath game shown delayed in full straight after the live Quins Bristol match finishes. Means I won't be able to watch the Quins game because they will blab the latest scores but worth it all the same.

Good start to the coverage here, 4 live and 2 delayed games Friday through Sunday. Won't get chance to watch them all but loving the choice. It's supposed to hammer it down here on Saturday so my plans have been cancelled meaning I could get to watch a 3 or 4 games.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Wed 31 Aug 2016, 10:08 pm

I didn't realise all 6 matches had a television crew this weekend. That's better for you than here. I get two live and two streamed.


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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Sun 04 Sep 2016, 7:39 pm

How could Saints come off second best to Bath's scrum and lineout? Since I didn't see the match, it seems Saints have a number of questions to answer. Quickly. I suppose it is good that Bristol is next.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by Heaf on Sun 04 Sep 2016, 8:20 pm

They were probably thinking that about Worcester last year Whistle

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Mon 05 Sep 2016, 5:05 am

Heaf wrote:They were probably thinking that about Worcester last year Whistle
Funny. But they were obviously thinking about something. Doesn't seem it was Rugby...............

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Sun 11 Sep 2016, 1:05 am

From the Northampton Chronicle

Tom Vickers’ Bristol v Northampton Saints preview
Published: 10:00 Updated: 10:39 Saturday 10 September 2016

Fixture: Bristol v Northampton Saints (Aviva Premiership - round two)
Date and kick-off time: Sunday, September 11, 3pm.
Venue: Ashton Gate, Bristol

Bristol: Wallace; Edwards, Hurrell, Mosses, Varndell; Pisi, Cliff; Tonga’uiha, McMillan, Cortes; Evans, Glynn; Fisher, Lam (c), Crane. Replacements: Brooker, Traynor, Perenise, Phillips, Robinson, Eadie, Williams, Jarvis.

Saints: Tuala; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell, North; Myler, Dickson; A Waller, Hartley, Brookes; Lawes, Paterson; Wood (c), Harrison, Picamoles. Replacements: Haywood, Ma’afu, Hill, Dickinson, Gibson, Groom, Mallinder, Foden.

Injuries: Saints: Tom Stephenson (broken leg), Christian Day (ruptured bicep), JJ Hanrahan (ankle)
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

Whether or not you believe there is a good time to take on any team, what is certain is that the worst time to play a newly-promoted club is in their first home fixture. Saints saw exactly that last season as, on Aviva Premiership opening night, they were met with blood and thunder by Worcester’s warriors at Sixways. No, it wasn’t a vintage Saints display, in fact it wasn’t even distinctly average, but what was not in doubt was the commitment Worcester poured into the match. They were desperate to return to the big time with a bang and, thanks to Tom Heathcote’s last-gasp drop goal, they achieved their aim.

The Sixways fans celebrated as though survival had already been secured and Saints slumped off, knowing they had massively underperformed. They had failed to impose themselves on the game and on Worcester, with the home team looking more like the established Premiership side. The defeat meant Saints were immediately playing catch up following a loss of points that would eventually come back to haunt them in the bid to make the play-offs.

This weekend, they face a similar scenario as they travel to a Bristol side who put in a hugely spirited showing in their first game back in the Premiership last weekend. Harlequins felt the force of their arrival before just managing to squeeze to a 21-19 victory at Twickenham.

That display will undoubtedly give Bristol real belief ahead of Saints’ visit to Ashton gate this weekend and they will be desperate to deliver in front of their own support. But Saints simply cannot afford to let them, especially after last weekend’s events at Franklin’s Gardens. Many would have pencilled in the first two games as the ones where Jim Mallinder’s men needed to make their mark. The director of rugby urged his team to get off to a flying start this season in a bid to ensure the lethargy of the formative stages of last season wasn’t replicated.

But Saints didn’t heed those words, instead slipping to a hugely disappointing defeat against Bath, who won in Northampton for the first time in more than 16 years. There was little spark about the Saints performance and not much to get excited about, until Nic Groom emerged from the bench and grabbed a quickfire double. It wasn’t to be enough as Bath held on for the final minute to secure an 18-14 win that prompted fears that Saints may not achieve their aims this season.

And there now needs to be a big response in Bristol.

On paper, Mallinder’s men should get the job done this weekend. There are a plethora of international stars in the Saints side and they have far more quality than Bristol. But that will count for nothing without an ability to match the fire and desire that the home side’s players will undoubtedly show. Saints will have to make sure they stand tall against the tide as they look to win in the west country.

And with Saracens, Wasps, Exeter and Harlequins to come after the Ashton Gate scrap, a win is vital.

Points are needed, and a repeat of what happened at Worcester last season is certainly not.

Tom’s prediction: Bristol 18 Saints 25

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 13 Sep 2016, 2:00 am

Calum Clark almost back from his shoulder problems. On form, his breakdown work is tremendous and his support play quite good. To me, one of the key players Saints need. He went through 40 minutes for the Wanderers (Saints seconds) against Newcastle seconds. Reports are he played well, no ill effects, and full steam ahead.

I wonder who will have to sacrifice time in the back row to make room for him.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Thu 22 Sep 2016, 4:33 am

So 3 games down and what do we think? Was hoping for a W2-L1 record before the season started but 1-2 is probably right based on performances alone. Been lucky enough to see all 3 of Saints games in full and Saturdays match is also being shown live here.

Worryingly it's seems that some of the problems of last year still remain, namely lack of penetration and unpredictability in open play.

Positives so far (as I see them)

Brookes has looked good, both in the set piece and loose. Based on current form and workrate (that of course EJ will be looking for) then I can see him being back as Cole's understudy come the AI's. Deservedly starting ahead of Hill.

Generally solid forward performances, even Paterson has looked better last 2 games showing an impressive workrate compared to previous displays (sorry WPI). Waller's inability to stay the right side of playing on the edge was disappointing and hopefully he will learn from it. Think if Hartley would have been fit and playing then he would have told him to wind his neck in, being able to relate and all.

Picolmoles Cool

George Pisi has looked closer to his form of a few years back when he was one of the better 13's in the league. Just a shame he doesn't quite have the pace of old.

Groom looks like he has potential although it's usually easier for a 9 to look good off the bench.

Negatives

Inability to get the ball to the back 3 in space and generally look threatening with ball in hand.

North still not involved enough. Not sure if it's tactics or player, or both?

Defense first center selections. Really wish it was Burrell or Pisi, not both. Anyone know anything about the Tongan center that signed this week?

Foden picking up another injury in the first game preventing him from starting the last 2 matches. Guy really needs to run of games. Hopefully he's fully fit and able to start at the weekend.


So I'm a little concerned for Saturday's game as Wasps look too sharp in the backs to keep shackled for the full 80 minutes and on current form can't see Saints scoring more tries than them. Also their backrow of Young, Jones and especially Thompson has been very impressive. It's not hard to see why Hughes hasn't been starting. Not sure on the forecast but I guess bad weather could level things up (although I always prefer good weather rugby even when the team I support could be at a disadvantage).

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by Exiledinborders on Thu 22 Sep 2016, 9:25 am

B91212 wrote:North still not involved enough. Not sure if it's tactics or player, or both?
Player I think. He is the same for Wales. He is very dangerous when given the ball but makes no effort to track play and get involved.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 22 Sep 2016, 1:16 pm

Saint shave now signed Tongan centre Nafi Tuitavake fron Narvone, not sure where he plays, I have seen him listed as both a centre and a winger. We are a bit light on wingers (literally when you look at the size of who we have, GN exempted) but have enough centres as none are likely to be on international call up.

Another sevens specialist by all accounts, so should be lively

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by aucklandlaurie on Thu 22 Sep 2016, 5:11 pm

Nafi is Tonys younger brother. ex Massey 1st xv, Massey and North Harbour.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Fri 23 Sep 2016, 4:11 am

Exiledinborders wrote:
B91212 wrote:North still not involved enough. Not sure if it's tactics or player, or both?
Player I think. He is the same for Wales. He is very dangerous when given the ball but makes no effort to track play and get involved.
Got to wonder if he would do better with a different kind of 10 and center combo's inside him. Both Bigger and Myler are what I would class as controlling 10's (Bigger a far superior version of course) and then both teams seem to prefer more bosh type centers.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Sat 24 Sep 2016, 12:15 pm

I believe North will be more involved. The attack hasn't fired at all, and I think with Prince Harry in the centres, the ball will find its way wider. But North sometimes does seem to stand around waiting for something to do. That can't happen today. There are little wings to demolish.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by B91212 on Fri 14 Oct 2016, 4:00 pm

So announced today that backs coach Alex King has left the club by mutual consent. Consensus among Saints fans seems to be that he wasn't allowed much influence in selection and tactics and is being made a bit of a scapegoat but I guess there are 2 sides to every story. Strangely enough this is exactly what Saints did to his predecessor Paul Grayson when King got the job.  

Club coming in for some criticism of how the news was announced on Saints' website, a few lines of small text at the bottom of the team announcement for this weekends game. Poorly done in my opinion, a senior coach who was part of the title winning setup a couple of years back and deserving of a bit more respect.

After the England talk last year he's obviously highly rated by some. Can't see him being without a job for long.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by Hood83 on Sat 15 Oct 2016, 1:27 pm

B91212 wrote:So announced today that backs coach Alex King has left the club by mutual consent. Consensus among Saints fans seems to be that he wasn't allowed much influence in selection and tactics and is being made a bit of a scapegoat but I guess there are 2 sides to every story. Strangely enough this is exactly what Saints did to his predecessor Paul Grayson when King got the job.  

Club coming in for some criticism of how the news was announced on Saints' website, a few lines of small text at the bottom of the team announcement for this weekends game. Poorly done in my opinion, a senior coach who was part of the title winning setup a couple of years back and deserving of a bit more respect.

After the England talk last year he's obviously highly rated by some. Can't see him being without a job for long.

I think Mallinder needs to go and I think that it's clear you've been going backwards for well over a year. Even when you've done well it seems that there's been a real inconsistency. I don't think Mallinder offers much beyond the rolling maul.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Sun 16 Oct 2016, 4:11 am

For Saints fans, the table below will clearly show when Alex King arrived, total points scored increased along with the number of tries.   Certainly one of the key ingredients which made a consistently good team to be a very good one.  Despite the high scoring level in 2014/2015, the second half of that season Saints scoring was much more difficult, and it seemed a huge effort to get over the line at the end of the Premiership season in first place.  Losing in the semi-finals was not unexpected.  Last season was decidedly mediocre.  With poor performances this year clearly mirroring the results of last season and the second half of the season before, Saints have a big problem.  The questions are why, why, and why?  The answers to each of those could take quite a while.

What do you think, especially the other members of the Saints Family.     Would also like to hear everyone.............


SeasonPLAYEDWONDRAWLOSTPOINTS FORAVG. per GAMEPOINTS AGAINSTAVG. per GAMEPOINTS DIFF.TRIES FORTRIES AGAINSTBONER POINTSLEAGUE POSITIONPLAYOFF RESULTS
2009/1022160647221.532214.61504426712lost Semi-Final
2010/1122140853324.243019.51035838654lost Semi-Final
2011/1222140853924.537417.01655131654lost Semi-Final
2012/1322140850122.843319.7685536654lost final
2013/1422162460427.535015.92547231782won finalAlex King Arrives
2014/1522161562128.240018.22217541761lost Semi-Final
2015/16221201045520.739217.8635135655Did not quality for playoffs
2015/16620410217.011419.0–12107119turnaround neededAlex King departs after 6 matches

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by lostinwales on Sun 16 Oct 2016, 12:38 pm

Boner points?

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Sun 16 Oct 2016, 12:47 pm

lostinwales wrote:Boner points?
oops, Bonus Points. See what happens when I try to be intelligent late at night?

Interesting that in the 10 years Mallinder has been in charge, only one coach has been replaced before Alex King. Some credit for consistency, but, as Jim said, change is sometimes needed.

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

Post by lostinwales on Sun 16 Oct 2016, 12:53 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Boner points?
oops, Bonus Points.  See what happens when I try to be intelligent late at night?

Interesting that in the 10 years Mallinder has been in charge, only one coach has been replaced before Alex King.  Some credit for consistency, but, as Jim said, change is sometimes needed.

I thought it might be some measure of how exciting the Saints performance was. Apologies for picking a hole in an otherwise excellent post.

Any other obvious changes between 14/15 and 15/16? - change in personnel or a rule interpretation that Saints did not get on top of?

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Re: Northampton Saints 16/17 Thread

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