Ma’afu fired up for Bath clash at ‘electric’ Franklin’s Gardens

TURNING UP THE POWER - Salesi Ma'afu and Alex Corbisiero get stuck into Gloucester at Franklin's Gardens three weeks ago (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

TURNING UP THE POWER - Salesi Ma'afu and Alex Corbisiero get stuck into Gloucester at Franklin's Gardens three weeks ago (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Salesi Ma’afu is expecting another ‘electric’ occasion at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday afternoon as Saints square up to the Aviva Premiership table-toppers.

Bath head to Northampton on the back of a 45-0 evisceration of Leicester Tigers at The Rec last weekend.

Mike Ford’s men have won all three of their Aviva Premiership matches this season and are in buoyant mood.

But Saints have not lost to Bath at the Gardens since April, 2003 and claimed a gargantuan 53-6 victory against Gloucester last time out on home turf.

And Australian prop Ma’afu said: “Everyone’s looking forward to coming back to the Gardens this weekend. It was pretty electric last time we were here.

“It’s a big one for us this week and we don’t want to be anywhere else but here to do it. It’s a big plus.

“I don’t think a lot of people expected that result (against Gloucester). We worked pretty hard and got a good outcome out of it, in terms of points and what we achieved as a team together.

“Bath are a quality team and they will challenge us from set piece right through to everywhere else.

“We’re going to need to bring our A game and make sure we deliver this weekend.”

Bath have not beaten Saints in the league since February, 2011 and were left frustrated at the end of each of the three meetings between the clubs last season.

The most recent battle came in the Amlin Challenge Cup final in May, with Saints coming back to claim a 30-16 victory at Cardiff Arms Park.

And Ma’afu, who missed that game through suspension, is expecting another tough test this weekend.

“We had three run-ins with them last year and they were all tough games,” he said.

“They’re a team that’s on the up and they’ve got a very good team, a big pack and big backs.

“It’s going to make it more exciting for us because the challenge is there and we’ve got to be focused.

“It’s all about getting ourselves right and making sure we’re mentally switched on.

“We want to play and we want to dominate them up front.”