Thursday, May 05, 2011
Northampton Saints cruised through their Heineken Cup semi final against Perpignan on Saturday with a 23-7 win, setting them up for a final showdown with Leinster in Cardiff on Saturday, May 21.
Visitors Perpignan failed to turn up in what was a puzzling performance from them. They were however blown away by the power of Saints, with the front row in particular asserting their dominance on more than one occasion.
Saints shot off to a 20-0 lead in the first half before Perpignan attempted to claw their way back. The loss of Julien Candelon for a reckless tackle didn't help, and the home side controlled matters well in the second half, hanging on for a well deserved victory and place in the final.
"This is a fantastic achievement. I think we've been criticised a bit in the past for being one one-dimensional with our forward power, but I was delighted to see our all-round game," said coach Jim Mallinder.
"It's all about winning - no-one remembers losing semi-finalists or losing finalists. We've done remarkably well, but we haven't won anything yet.
"We will look at Leinster and make sure we are accurate against them. They are full of international-quality players with recent experience of winning competitions."
The final will be at the Millennium Stadium in two weeks time. Any predictions?
England and Toulon's Jonny Wilkinson will be doing a Facebook session on Monday, whereby you can submit your questions , and he will respond live by video. Find out more and sign up for the event by joining the Gillette Facebook page and event.
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Julien Candelon's reckless tackle on Lee Dickson