NEWS: Saints v Chiefs Friday 28th Dec KO 19.45


Head them off at the pass
By Happywifehappylife
December 27 2018

Jamie Gibson returns to the Northampton Saints starting XV for Friday’s Gallagher Premiership clash against Exeter Chiefs at Franklin’s Gardens.

Director of rugby Chris Boyd has made just one change to his line-up, with flanker Gibson – who made his 100th Saints appearance last time out at Sixways – joining Lewis Ludlam and Teimana Harrison in the back row.

Northampton’s side is otherwise untouched from last week’s win; Dylan Hartley and Alex Waller jointly skipper the side with Paul Hill completing the front row, and Courtney Lawes and David Ribbans continue together in the engine room.

Tom Collins, Taqele Naiyaravoro and Ahsee Tuala make up the back three with Luther Burrell and Piers Francis in the midfield.

And after a man-of-the-match showing against Warriors, scrum-half Cobus Reinach lines up again alongside No.10 Dan Biggar – who will look to top last week’s 20-point haul against the top-of-the-table Chiefs.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS v EXETER CHIEFS

15 Ahsee Tuala
14 Tom Collins
13 Piers Francis
12 Luther Burrell
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 Dan Biggar
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Alex Waller (co-capt)
2 Dylan Hartley (co-capt)
3 Paul Hill
4 David Ribbans
5 Courtney Lawes
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Teimana Harrison

Replacements:
16 Reece Marshall
17 Francois van Wyk
18 Ben Franks
19 Api Ratuniyarawa
20 Tom Wood
21 Heinrich Brüssow
22 Alex Mitchell
23 Fraser Dingwall

Not available for selection:
Ken Pisi (shoulder), Nafi Tuitavake (neck), Andy Symons (knee), Harry Mallinder (knee), James Haskell (ankle), James Craig (concussion), Tom Emery (shoulder), and Mikey Haywood (knee).

Head over to t'Offy for more info

pqs: qs:
NEWS: Saints v Chiefs Friday 28th Dec KO 19.45
Posted by: Marching On (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 21:28

What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Team's up
Posted by: shendy (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 12:01

[www.northamptonsaints.co.uk]

15 Ahsee Tuala
14 Tom Collins
13 Piers Francis
12 Luther Burrell
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 Dan Biggar
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Alex Waller (co-capt)
2 Dylan Hartley (co-capt)
3 Paul Hill
4 David Ribbans
5 Courtney Lawes
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Teimana Harrison

Replacements:
16 Reece Marshall
17 Francois van Wyk
18 Ben Franks
19 Api Ratuniyarawa
20 Tom Wood
21 Heinrich Brüssow
22 Alex Mitchell
23 Fraser Dingwall

Not available for selection:
Ken Pisi (shoulder), Nafi Tuitavake (neck), Andy Symons (knee), Harry Mallinder (knee), James Haskell (ankle), James Craig (concussion), Tom Emery (shoulder), and Mikey Haywood (knee).

Re: Team's up
Posted by: Nath-coys (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 12:11

Very very worried about the front row.
But they’ve stuck too there guns!!

I think elsewhere we could give them a good game!


Any idea what’s going on with Barrow?
Never in the squad, never in the wandies, but not on injury list??

Re: Team's up
Posted by: LeicesterSaint (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 12:13

Have Francis and Burrell switched or did they line up that way round last week? I know 12 and 13 are fairly interchangeable during the game but I thought Francis was the second distributed and kicker at 12.

Re: Team's up
Posted by: Hakuna Tuala (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 12:14

Francis at 13 and Burrell at 12?

Do we think that is that a typo or a genuine choice...

Re: Team's up
Posted by: St Marcus (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 12:23

Think the Burrell and Francis thing is a mis-print.

I am a bit concerned looking at the respective prop line-ups, especially given the lack of weight behind them in our pack. We really need to play at tempo, hit the breakdown hard and secure quick ball for Cobus to whip away. Biggar will also be key - a repeat of last week's performance from both half backs would be great. Thankfully the weather looks set to be dry, which should work in our favour.

I am really looking forward to seeing the Gardens full again - the match seems to be sold out. At a number of games this season the crowd attitude has seemed to be: we'll wait for the team to impress us before we give them any vocal encouragement/ shout or sing. Getting this club back towards the top of the premiership is a rebuilding process that involves the supporters too. We need to help bring the atmosphere back to the Gardens.

COYS!!!

Re: Team's up
Posted by: Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 12:28

Moon, Williams and Lees are starting so scrums will be painful for the first 60 minutes

However our backs look better IMHO, they’re missing Nowell, Hill and Slade. I also like how our back row matches up.


If we can stay in the game until 60 minutes, I’m confident we can cause an upset.

Re: Team's up
Posted by: Abington Adam (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 12:29

There are a few hundred seats left by the looks of things, but only in singles dotted around the ground. It will be good to see a nearly full Franklin's Gardens and hopefully one in good voice following festive libations! There's obviously a good chance that we'll have our scrum pushed around a bit, so fingers crossed that we can keep handling errors to a minimum.

COME ON YOU SAINTS!
Church's Stand season ticket holder
EMRU Referee

Re: Team's up
Posted by: Houghton Saint (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 12:32

I wonder how many scrum penalties we will see tomorrow night. Chiefs will keep the ball in and milk the penalty all night long given half the chance and then utilise their rolling maul. Logically therefore Saints need to keep the knock-ons and forward passes down to an absolute minimum. For all that I still think this is a winnable game on our own patch in front of a full house if the mind set is spot on.

Re: Team's up
Posted by: tedge (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 12:35

To expect anything other than a sound beating would be absurdly optimistic...but stranger things have happened..?

Re: Team's up
Posted by: St Marcus (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 12:37

Chiefs side:

15 Joe Simmonds
14 Santiago Cordero
13 Ian Whitten
12 Ollie Devoto
11 Tom O’Flaherty
10 Gareth Steenson (capt)
9 Jack Maunder
1 Ben Moon
2 Elvis Taione
3 Harry Williams
4 Mitch Lees
5 Sam Skinner
6 Sean Lonsdale
7 Don Armand
8 Matt Kvesic

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie
17 Alec Hepburn
18 Tomas Francis
19 Jonny Hill
20 Tom Lawday
21 Nic White
22 Henry Slade
23 Phil Dollman

Re: Team's up
Posted by: smitferbrainz (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 13:02

To me they look really strong, stellar bench with Hill and Slade on it. LBP at best I'd say.

Re: Team's up
Posted by: ElySaint (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 13:12

Saints about what we expected, I suppose. Exeter look strong. As above, we're going to be in for an uncomfortable night at scrum time. It won't take too many pens before we start losing front row to the bin.

At Worcester we had lots of possession and territory, but our attack rarely looked like scoring from phase play - apart from Taqele's close one. Hopefully we can be more clinical tomorrow when chances present themselves.

Think Exeter will win.

Re: Team's up
Posted by: tedge (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 13:14

Wot no Kellaway ?

Re: Team's up
Posted by: Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 13:32

Quote:
ElySaint
At Worcester we had lots of possession and territory, but our attack rarely looked like scoring from phase play - apart from Taqele's close one. Hopefully we can be more clinical tomorrow when chances present themselves.

Think Exeter will win.

At Worcester we seemed to do what we all asked for and took the points to build a lead. If we had gone for the corners we might well have scored more trys but the risk of getting nothing was greater. We needed a win more so we played safe.

I think we will try and keep things close in the first half and fight for ever scrap of ball. A LBP would be a good result but if we keep the score low we have a chance to open up late on and grab a try or two.

Re: Team's up
Posted by: northampton_lad (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 13:46

LBP is good result for me, as other have commented the scrum is an area of concern.

Re: Team's up
Posted by: Deesaint (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 14:11

Not sure how the breakdown will go
But on paper we could be in for a long night
Same on any scrum where they have put in
Time for one hell of a 80 minutes
Let’s hope the boys are feeling good following Worcester win
COYS

Re: Team's up
Posted by: ElySaint (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 15:00

Quote:
Duckonstilts
Quote:
ElySaint
At Worcester we had lots of possession and territory, but our attack rarely looked like scoring from phase play - apart from Taqele's close one. Hopefully we can be more clinical tomorrow when chances present themselves.

Think Exeter will win.

At Worcester we seemed to do what we all asked for and took the points to build a lead. If we had gone for the corners we might well have scored more trys but the risk of getting nothing was greater. We needed a win more so we played safe.

I think we will try and keep things close in the first half and fight for ever scrap of ball. A LBP would be a good result but if we keep the score low we have a chance to open up late on and grab a try or two.

I quite agree with taking points when on offer - I'm talking about open / phaseplay. By this I mean, you've been in possession for 5/6 phases, but don't look to be able to penetrate the defence. Together with dropped offloads, something that could be sharper, and will need to be to get close to Exeter cos we ain't going to win an arm wrestle.

Re: Team's up
Posted by: fair_weather_fan (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 15:31

Interesting that we have 2 back rows on the bench we are going to try and get to the breakdowns first. That's the trouble with heavy props.

So we need to loudly inform sir about

1. The numerous offsides and lazy retreating that chiefs will do

2. Props coming in from the side to rescue tackled player

3 illegal clearouts

Re: Team's up
Posted by: Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 16:12

Quote:
smitferbrainz
To me they look really strong, stellar bench with Hill and Slade on it. LBP at best I'd say.


Bookies are only giving us a 5 point lead..... so the expected average is a LBP

Re: Team's up
Posted by: Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 16:14

Also, Fingers crossed the referee decides going off your feet at the breakdown is a penalty. Exeter do it every week and barely ever penalised.

Re: Team's up
Posted by: 195Rich (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 17:35

Do we know who will be refereeing? If no one appointed I am happy to do it!!

Re: Team's up
Posted by: St Marcus (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 17:49

Ian Tempest is ref tomorrow. Capable of being a bit of a homer, as FWF and WP say we need to give plenty of advice. Really hope the officials police defensive line offsides tomorrow, as often Chiefs really push the offside line when allowed to.

Re: Team's up
Posted by: andysaint (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 19:44

I’d love to see Saints use the Worcester result as a springboard to win tomorrow and get some momentum going. How judging by how this season is going I am struggling to see it. We seem to take a step forward and then one back. Our handling needs to be better, we need to stop playing so much in our half and 22 as Exeter really will punish our mistakes and our scrum does not even remotely compare to Exeter’s. We really need Exeter to have an off night. Sorry but I would be pleasantly surprised with a point.

Someone above commented about Brussow, for me, I think he is behind Gibson Wood Harrison and Ludlam at the moment. He has been incredible unlucky with injuries but even when on, he seems to pick up a few penalties especially for high tackles.

Re: Team's up
Posted by: Sans Culottes (IP Logged)
Date: 27/12/2018 21:16

I know Chiefs beat Sarries, but I thought that Chiefs starting scrum half looked flakey. I think if we can get into his head ( for that Mr Lawes read "torso"), then we can maybe disrupt their game.

Ever hopeful

COYS

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