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Apres le deluge.............
(as they say in Jimmy's End)

Apres le deluge of Scotstoun we returned to the drier climes of our very own Gardens and the much anticipated clash with Toulon. The Toulon side included a couple of Saints old boys – the recently departed David Ribbans and a blast from the past in Keiron Brooks. Unfortunately there was to be no Dan Biggar on the pitch but he did make a return with microphone in hand – great to see him back and hear him speak so fondly of his time with us!

Before the game we caught Topsy Ojo and Ben Kay in a pincer movement to come to the Saints Supporters Club gazebo. They were presented with badges and I suggested that they could give one to Austin as a Christmas present. Ben Kay point blank refused saying “But then I would have to talk to him” – says it all really.

We also collared Richard Hill for a photo op and a chat – what a lovely man - I feel that any of our English qualified forwards could have been a target for England last night. I asked him that if he took any for England they were not to break them – we will see.

Onto the game – and still it goes on with this edge of your seat stuff from Saints. Toulon seemed to be caught completely cold in the first half, two tries from Saints answered only by a penalty. A Tom (Seabrook) and a George (Furbank) scored for Saints – helped by several others called Tom and George and a Fin. Unhappily we lost a George as Hendy was helped from the field with a leg injury – here’s hoping it’s not too serious. He was replaced by Ollie Sleightholme.

For Toulon this was a must-win game or they could kiss goodbye to any European ambition. And their team of stars came out in the second half with renewed intent and physicality. The Tom count dropped by one three minutes into the second half as Tom Seabrook suffered a leg injury, he was replaced by Saint’s debutant Charlie Savala. We were back up to a full complement of Tom’s on the 58th minute when Tom James came on for Ollie Sleightholme. This made for an interesting back division comprising of two scrum halves and two fly-halves in the mix. Reassuringly there will still a load of Toms all over the pitch including Tom Lockett on for Temo Mayanavanua.

There was some outstanding displays of skill from Saints in attack and defence – a try saving tackle from the one and only Courtney Lawes and a sublime 50:22 kick from Alex Mitchell to mention but two. Toulon chose to kick for goal a couple of times which I thought was a great compliment to our defence – and then they finally made it over through Jaminet. Furbs answered back with his second try made possible by the strength and ball carrying skills of Tommy Freeman. Then David Ribbans barrelled over the line – unfortunately some of the crown greeted this homecoming with boos –uncalled for in my opinion. Herve missed the conversion leaving the visitors with a one point lead then Jaminet pulled them further ahead with a drop goal (suddenly found his kicking boots). With the clock running down and some very tired bodies playing out of position the omens were that it was going to be another nearly night.

But this Saints side doesn’t lie down so easily and the team threw everything at Toulon. A forward pass ended one attack and then as Saints came at them again a high tackle and then a deliberate knock on led to two yellow cards for Toulon and Saints in a perfect attacking position and attack they did, with patience to go through the moves and use their superior numbers leading to young Lockett squeezing his way over the line. The roar from the Gardens was off the scale! Fin Smith found the target and then Saints secured the ball from the restart and carefully ate up the seconds until Fin was able to hoof the ball into the stands.

Here's hoping the injuries to the three wings aren't as serious as they looked.

Saints now top the table with nine out of a possible ten points – who would have predicted that!

Photos courtesy of Claire Jones at


Captain Furbs on the charge - what a leader he has become


Tommy Freeman - a perfect combination of strength and speed leading to an offload that simply should not have been possible..

Another carry - another Tom - Litchfield this time - stepping into Dingwall's shoes at centre with aplomb.


Ttom Lockett - European Cup debut last week and match winning try this week........


New Saint #2087 launches the celebrations at the end of the on-field huddle. Welcome Charlie Savala!

Blues days for young Saints

The next day in Bedford a plethora of young Saints and former Saints helped the Blues storm to a convincing 49-24 win over Nottingham. 

Young Henry Pollock - so impressive in his premiership debut for Saints at Welford Road, scored two tries in the first half and left the field to a standing ovation! Certainly one to watch and hopefully more Saints games in the very near future.

Scrum half Archie McParland was also in the action, starting at 9. He was replaced later in the game by Alex Day, late of this parish - another product of the Saints academy!

The precocious talent that is Henry Pollock!


Future plans - McParland and Pollock in Blue for now but destined for G B and G.....

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