Teams Up: Saints v Sale


Francis is back at 12
By Saint Ted
February 15 2019

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs SALE SHARKSGallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 13Saturday 16 February 2019Franklin’s GardensKick-off: 2pm

Director of Rugby Chris Boyd has named his Northampton Saints side to take on Sale Sharks this weekend, with internationals Dan Biggar, Piers Francis and Tom Wood all returning to the starting XV.

The men in Black, Green and Gold make four changes in total for Saturday’s clash at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 2pm), following a thumping 59-33 victory over Newcastle Falcons last weekend which saw the side book their spot in the Premiership Rugby Cup final.

Saints are now unbeaten in five matches on home soil in all competitions, and will be determined to keep that run going against a Sale side that just edged the last meeting between the teams back in November.

Tom Wood will wear the No.8 jersey and leads out Northampton after impressing off the bench last weekend, with Teimana Harrison missing out through injury.

The rest of the back row remains unchanged however with flankers Jamie Gibson and Lewis Ludlam – both of whom got on the scoresheet last weekend – packing down either side of Wood.

It’s largely as you were in the tight five too; Francois van Wyk, James Fish and Ehren Painter make up the front row for the second week running, but Alex Moon comes into the engine room to join Api Ratuniyarawa with David Ribbans ruled out.

Fly-half Dan Biggar and inside centre Piers Francis headline the changes to Saints backline – with the No.10 recalled after two weeks on international duty with Wales, and Francis available again following a shoulder injury.

Scrum-half Cobus Reinach will hope to continue his electrifying Gallagher Premiership form alongside Biggar in the half-back axis, while last weekend’s man-of-the-match Rory Hutchinson has earned a first league start of the season in the midfield.

Meanwhile Saints’ back three is unchanged after Taqele Naiyaravoro, Ahsee Tuala and George Furbank all notched tries in last Saturday’s triumph.

England under-20 international Alex Coles is in line for his Gallagher Premiership debut if he is introduced from the bench, while there is also room for the likes of Alex Waller, Paul Hill, Heinrich Brüssow, Luther Burrell and Tom Collins amongst Northampton’s experienced replacements.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs SALE SHARKS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 13
Saturday 16 February 2019
Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 2pm

15 George Furbank
14 Ahsee Tuala
13 Rory Hutchinson
12 Piers Francis
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 Dan Biggar
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Francois Van Wyk
2 James Fish
3 Ehren Painter
4 Api Ratuniyarawa
5 Alex Moon
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Tom Wood (c)

Replacements:
16 Reece Marshall
17 Alex Waller
18 Paul Hill
19 Alex Coles
20 Heinrich Brüssow
21 Alex Mitchell
22 Luther Burrell
23 Tom Collins

Not available for selection:
Andy Symons (knee), Harry Mallinder (knee), Tom Emery (shoulder), Mikey Haywood (knee), Dylan Hartley (knee), David Ribbans (illness) and Teimana Harrison (hamstring).

 

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pqs: qs:
Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Marching On (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:06

What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Teams Up
Posted by: Walks11 (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:00

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS vs SALE SHARKS
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 13
Saturday 16 February 2019
Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 2pm

15 George Furbank
14 Ahsee Tuala
13 Rory Hutchinson
12 Piers Francis
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 Dan Biggar
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Francois Van Wyk
2 James Fish
3 Ehren Painter
4 Api Ratuniyarawa
5 Alex Moon
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Tom Wood (c)

Replacements:
16 Reece Marshall
17 Alex Waller
18 Paul Hill
19 Alex Coles
20 Heinrich Brüssow
21 Alex Mitchell
22 Luther Burrell
23 Tom Collins

Not available for selection:
Andy Symons (knee), Harry Mallinder (knee), Tom Emery (shoulder), Mikey Haywood (knee), Dylan Hartley (knee), David Ribbans (illness) and Teimana Harrison (hamstring).

Re: Teams Up
Posted by: Walks11 (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:04

Understandable that Teimana not playing, really don’t want to risk him being out longer than necessary. Slightly surprised with Wood at 8 and guess that spells the end for Mitch Eadie Saints tenure.

Decent side given those missing

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:11

This is a huge game. Sale are a form side with a very strong pack and elite foreign guys sprinkled in the backs.


very hard one to call, COYS

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: HRsaints fan (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:19

And the Sale team:

15.Sam James
14.Denny Solomona
13.James O’Connor
12.Rohan Janse van Rensburg
11.Byron McGuigan
10.AJ MacGinty
9.Faf de Klerk
1.Ross Harrison
2.Rob Webber
3.WillGriff John
4.Bryn Evans
5.James Phillips
6.Jono Ross (capt.)
7.Ben Curry
8.Josh Beaumont

Replacements16.Cameron Neild, 17.Tom Bristow, 18.Joe Jones, 19.Andrei Ostrikov, 20.Josh Strauss, 21.Will Cliff,22.Luke James, 23.Arron Reed

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Saint 16 (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:20

For me I'm slightly surprised to see Biggar and Francis straight back into the starting 15, thought maybe bench with plenty of game time?
Also notable absence of James Grayson.
No room for Haskell at all in either Cup or Prem.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: tedge (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:22

Don't know why but I find this selection a bit worrying on several fronts

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Saint Stokey (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:26

Presumably, Grayson is being rested for international cover with Francis able to cover 10.

Other than that, all bases covered with subs. Not sure whats happened to Eadie but its not looking good for him. Whats the deal with James Craig? Still concussed?

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: tedge (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:33

I don't fancy either of our wingers defensively against the likes of Solomona and de Klerk.also Ribbans will be a big miss

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Walks11 (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:36

Quote:
Saint 16
For me I'm slightly surprised to see Biggar and Francis straight back into the starting 15, thought maybe bench with plenty of game time?
Also notable absence of James Grayson.
No room for Haskell at all in either Cup or Prem.

2 x internationals available why wouldnt you use them. We only have Biggar for 1 week so straight back in for me. Grayson unlikely to be a bench option when Francis can cover 10. A week off won’t do him any harm

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: andysaint (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:48

Our pack looks a bit green to that of Sale's. Perhaps Wood at 8 was needed to give it some experience. Our pack does not look strong.

The backs are similarly interesting. Biggar will be extremely important if the pack is on the back foot. Tuala and big T provide no confidence in defence.

It is pleasing to see Hutchinson and Furbank given a big chance after their good form. It is interesting that a not match fit Francis is preferred to a match fit Burrell.

Where is Kellaway?

Looking at our side, there are numerous ways in which we could come unstuck; inexperience, defence and the pack. Hopefully that will not be the case but I think this will be a very tight game.

Ribbans and Harrison, both huge misses which will be shown.

We cannot afford another home league loss especially against a side that is around us. Whilst the European competition and cup games have supplied some highlights, the league is priority.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:02:15:12:59:26 by andysaint.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: MarchingIn (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 12:49

I think we're missing maul & clear out power in that back row. Gibson and Wood are very similar players, to pick both to start 6 & 8 is a big statement - thats pretty much it for Eadie & Haskell at Saints in my view without injuries. Not how I'd have done it but what do I know.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: andysaint (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 13:00

Quote:
MarchingIn
I think we're missing maul & clear out power in that back row. Gibson and Wood are very similar players, to pick both to start 6 & 8 is a big statement - thats pretty much it for Eadie & Haskell at Saints in my view without injuries. Not how I'd have done it but what do I know.

Completely agree we need to keep ball in hand for as long as possible and be clinical. Perhaps that is why Francis is in for distribution.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Saint Stokey (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 13:16

Sales backs are largely unchanged from the last time we played them. Luke James and Rob du Preez are out and RJ van Rensburg and AJ Macginty in.

We however have a significanly different set of backs.

Away vs Sale - Home vs Sale

15. Furbank - Furbank
14. Kellaway - Tuala
13. Dingwall - Hutchinson
12. Burrell - Francis
11. Big T - Big T
10. Grayson - Biggar
9. Reinach - Reinach
1. Waller - Van Wyk
2. Fish - Fish
3. Hill - Painter
4. Api - Api
5. Moon - Moon
6. Wood - Gibson
7. Ludlam - Ludlam
8. Harrison - Wood

We have seen that our scrum has improved with Van Wyk and Painter is a better scrummager than Hill. Other than that, the pack is largely the same, and if Woody can perform anywhere near Harrisons level, I think we'll do ok but it will be tough.

It the backs that makes the difference for me. We have more experience and creativity. We've seen how well the Reinach - Biggar - Francis axis has worked, something that we did not have the luxury of last time.

Plus, of late, we seem to have been playing into some form and with home advantage, i can see us getting a result.

As long as we start strongly, I can see our backs getting a fair bit of decent ball and making the difference to last time.

Its all about the start and playing to the ref as we cannot afford to give silly penalties away.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:02:15:13:19:35 by Saint Stokey.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: saintsby2018 (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 13:37

Quote:
Saint Stokey
TS ALL ABOUT THE START!
(before edit)
How true and if we start like last weeks semi and 'defend' similarly we will find it much harder than last week to recover.

Ditto not much faith in our wingers defence.

That is a strong Sale team and with the likes of speedster Denny Solomona Sale have targeted this as an away win. AS WP says very hard to call. I am a tad worried. But COYS! OUR TURF!

2018 The fightback begins COYS!

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 13:58

If we win it will be likely that we go above Sale in the league.
No reason why we shouldn't?

http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: 195Rich (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 14:00

IMHO Ribbans and Harrison have been our best forwards for the last year or so; to have both missing along with Lawes and Hartley makes us clear 2nd favourites - hope so much I am completely wrong! COYS

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: MarchingIn (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 14:06

Interesting comparison Stokey, thanks for sharing. I thought Saints lacked a bit of intensity and bite at Sale, and they have got better since. Big day for the pack tomorrow.

Sale have a strong team but there are potential questions to be asked in the backline. They've got 2 talented versatile backs in O'Connor and James, but both are away from their preferred positions tomorrow, and they looked better with Du Preez in as cover for AJ McGinty at 10 than they did with him before he was injured IMO.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:02:15:14:08:11 by MarchingIn.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 14:17

Quote:
195Rich
IMHO Ribbans and Harrison have been our best forwards for the last year or so; to have both missing along with Lawes and Hartley makes us clear 2nd favourites - hope so much I am completely wrong! COYS


bookies have us favourites to win by 4 points

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: 195Rich (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 14:38

Hope they are right!!!

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: twsaint (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 15:01

We're not always at our best when at full strength.

Woody playing for a contract and Moon playing for a place.

These guys are hungry.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Sir Hector (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 15:41

Interesting that Coles is on the bench and not Barrow who doesn’t seem to be able to force himself into the match day reckoning even with Courtney resting and Ribbans injured.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: SaintED (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 15:46

Quote:
Saint 16
No room for Haskell at all in either Cup or Prem.

It's only taken Boyd half a season to work out what everyone bar WP could have told them at the start.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Sir Hector (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 15:57

Well I know this is a little off topic but a quick look through the squad listing (ignoring academy lads and those in their breakthrough season) reveals we have nine players who have yet to get beyond single figure starting appearances:-

Barrow
Davies
Davis
Eadie
JFR
Franks
Haskell
Kellaway
Symonds

Now some will be due to unfortunate injury timing etc, but that’s 20% of the squad who are really just making up the numbers! If the academy boys are getting chosen ahead of you there’s a pretty clear message.

Anyway, the squad for tomorrow looks good enough so get out there and bag us five points!

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Saint.Kenneth (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 16:02

I haven't been impressed with Tuala or Big T this season, so for me they are a noticeable concern. Hopefully they will prove me wrong but their wing opponents could well be licking their lips!

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Sir Hector (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 16:13

Their own lips I hope!

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 16:14

Quote:
SaintED
Quote:
Saint 16
No room for Haskell at all in either Cup or Prem.

It's only taken Boyd half a season to work out what everyone bar WP could have told them at the start.


You’ve had an obsession with putting Haskell down way back to even when he was immense for England in Australia, arguably player of the series. Reminds me of when I used to fancy girls at school when I was 8, I would always be mean to them.

The fact he’s been injured for us is bad luck and as per my other post he’s probably brought loads culturally in and around the club



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:02:15:16:15:37 by Wilson Pickett.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Saint Stokey (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 16:24

are you suggesting that SaintED fancies James Haskell?*

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: SaintED (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 16:41

I think he's admitting to being mean to girls in school.

Hopefully he has grown out of that now although his habitual misrepresenting of others views, lying and braggadocio suggest much of the schoolchild remain.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: MarchingIn (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 16:43

I thought Haskell was decent in some of the early games. I have a nasty feeling we think we are better than we are at the moment and might be about to have a tough run of games. I hope I'm wrong, but if I'm right I could see a few players like Haskell not getting a look in much finding their way back into the squad.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:02:15:16:44:47 by MarchingIn.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: St Marcus (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 17:13

Quote:
MarchingIn
I have a nasty feeling we think we are better than we are at the moment and might be about to have a tough run of games.

Tomorrow will certainly offer an interesting indication of where we are currently, having had a pretty easy run of games since Clermont. We've scored lots of tries and played some good rugby but Sale will be quite a different proposition and I expect it to be a tough match. I'm hopeful that with home advantage we will edge it.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Deesaint (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 17:17

Quote:
SaintED
I think he's admitting to being mean to girls in school.
Hopefully he has grown out of that now although his habitual misrepresenting of others views, lying and braggadocio suggest much of the schoolchild remain.

Sometimes its best not to respond and let everyone judge the comments above. Says a lot more about the poster.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: 195Rich (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 17:57

Quote:
MarchingIn
I thought Haskell was decent in some of the early games. I have a nasty feeling we think we are better than we are at the moment and might be about to have a tough run of games. I hope I'm wrong, but if I'm right I could see a few players like Haskell not getting a look in much finding their way back into the squad.

I also have that niggling doubt. Hope that the team can prove themselves tomorrow with a good win and then kick on for the rest of the season and into next.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 19:15

Quote:
SaintED
Quote:
Saint 16
No room for Haskell at all in either Cup or Prem.

It's only taken Boyd half a season to work out what everyone bar WP could have told them at the start.



Yeah yeah

Read above, with zero provocation and no reason
you called out my name



The fact I’ve dished it back to you and you can’t take it is your problem

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: shendy (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 19:33

Solomona ways seems to score against us, and is a deadly finisher in general - not sure how messy it might be if he's against T.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: MarchingIn (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 20:04

Quote:
shendy
Solomona always seems to score against us, and is a deadly finisher in general - not sure how messy it might be if he's against T.

It might be messy for Solomona if we could work out how to get the ball to Taquele in his channel with a few yards of space more than 3 times a game.

If we bring Mitchell on with a decent amount of time left, then with 2 distributive centres it might even happen tomorrow!

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: Saint Jericho (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 20:17

Agree with some of the other posters that we'll find out how good we actually are tomorrow.

I'm worried defensively about T and Tuala. Solomona is nailed on for at least 1 try tomorrow.

I feel we lack a bit of muscle in the backs to get us over the gain line. 2 relatively light weight centres where we usually have Burrell to make yards. We'll need big t to come off his wing and look for work. Although Francis does seem to punch above his weight.

Very nervous about a result tomorrow but looking forward to being proved wrong, as I usually am.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: andysaint (IP Logged)
Date: 15/02/2019 20:31

We are having an odd league season. 26 points from 12 5 wins from 7 is poor. But our points difference is positive and 5th best. 7 other sides have a negative points difference. We must win our home games.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: buck55 (IP Logged)
Date: 16/02/2019 09:28

I have been looking forward to the next 2 games and hoping we could win both these and climb the table a bit but I can see us struggling with tuala forgetting to defend all the time Solomona must be licking his lips.big t is not much better but his threat going forward helps.we have Collins,pisi,and the quality of kellaway who is not even in the squad.Ihope im wrong these 2 vital games could change our season.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: SaintED (IP Logged)
Date: 16/02/2019 17:10

Quote:
twsaint
Woody playing for a contract and Moon playing for a place

and both were exceptional. Also a joy to watch Academy talent being backed and reputation meaning little unless it has form to back it up.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: MarchingIn (IP Logged)
Date: 16/02/2019 19:46

Tuala' showed the doubters a thing or two today. Crunching try saving tackle as last man that was so good it turned them over.

Re: Teams Up: Saints v Sale
Posted by: 195Rich (IP Logged)
Date: 17/02/2019 12:53

Quote:
195Rich
IMHO Ribbans and Harrison have been our best forwards for the last year or so; to have both missing along with Lawes and Hartley makes us clear 2nd favourites - hope so much I am completely wrong! COYS

I know nothing!!!! Sounded like a brilliant performance and that we outclassed Sale in every department. So glad I was wrong to allow my faith to slip!

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