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Triple whammy - wins are like buses....

A super busy week last week prevented my ramblings about the Quins game and I thought I'd save it in case we need warming up after this weekends run out.

But how wrong was I? Intrepid travellers to Barnet might have needed to physically place themselves close to a heat source for about 24 hours after the game but mentally and emotionally we were all in a very warm place!

And then our women went and grabbed a huge W at Pooh Corner - playing with pride for Lightning but with Saint's badge prominent on their sleeves - close to where you'd wear your heart I think.

The stage was set for Saturday's performance with the win over Quins and another improvement in our defence. I feel that last season we would have been completely run over by Quins and would have struggled to keep scoring more than them. This time we completely disarmed their most potent attacking force in Esterhuizen. George Furbank brought him to shuddering halt on several occasions, I think Furbs' tackles must have affected his judgement because he tried to mix it with Courtney, how did he ever think that would end well? Air Courts just smiled at him - in a way that made my blood run cold and I was sitting  in the stands!

Furbs was imperious running the show at  10 in the absence of Fin Smith and Saints were delighted to have Ollie Sleightholme fully fit and raring to go the wing. And Ollie was soon showing his skills with the opening try. Skipper Lewis Ludlam finished off a wonderful back row move to score and Mitch the Magnificent also did what Mitch does - nicking the ball from right under Danny Care's nose to hurtle across the line! Alex Coles got on the receiving end of a clever offload from Furbs to put himself over for the bonus point try. Then Ollie Sleights was back across the line after a gallop down the wing from George Hendy. 

In between all of this Quins were making a game of it with tries from Murley, Walker, Hammond, Evans and Jibulu.

Saints resolve held firm - could've made our life a bit easier if they had established in their heads exactly what constituted off-side - but still finished 36-33 winners and five points in the bag! 

Just to mention I thought it was a good example of how reffing should be done by Sara Cox and her team - you barely knew they were there!


Ollie, Ollie, Ollie! Speed and strength to grab the first try.

More strength and speed - two thirds of the back row on the charge.


Tommy Freeman - finding freedom in the centre!


Captain's run to the try line - Lewis grabs five points!

Marching on to Sarrieland!

Well, that was fun! I was doing my usual not quite watching from home - being busy doing "stuff" to keep me occupied whilst the rugby was on, but I did watch it again  (a few times to be honest) to get the full enjoyment out of a hard fought win at a stadium where we have had more success than any other visiting premiership team!

It was without doubt our magnificent D that won the game. We even seemed to have learned where the offside line is. Sarries seemed to get more and more baffled as the game wore on as to why they weren't boshing their way through. It was a joy to watch.

Full back and skipper Furbs was again outstanding and has more than repaid for his wobble at Welford Road. He led the team, made the right decisions and kept everyone calm to carve out a hugely important victory. Courtney got MoM but it must have been a close contest.

To nil Sarries in the first half, in their own backyard was such an achievement, I fully expected a backlash in the second half but the boys kept them contained and rode out any attempts to outmuscle us.

Tries came from Ollie Sleightholme and Alex Mitchell (again). Mitch - having stitched up Danny Care last week proceeded to turn Alex Goode inside out before crossing the line this week. What a gem we have there.

The returning Fin Smith controlled the game with a maturity well beyond his years and Fraser Dingwall was as impressive in attack as in defence. His beautifully weighted chip kick for Ollie's try was perfection.

Fijian international Temo Mayanavanna was finally able to make his debut following an injury sustained at the World Cup. He came on as a second half replacement for the injured Chunya Munga and the switch was seamless - he appears to have slotted right into the squad and may even have learned most of the words to the Shoe Army song!

And now we head to Europe and a trip north to Glasgow - who knows what will happen but I bet Glasgow aren't quite as chipper about it as they might have been when the draw was first made!

Photos as ever, courtesy of Claire Jones - more can be found here


Courtney Lawes - simply  The G.O.A.T. 

Make way - Furbs coming through......


Free running from Freeman. Showing absolute class at centre


Just carry on doing your stuff, please. Mitch and Ollie

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