Hutchinson starting to hit his straps again at Saints

Watching a player like Rory Hutchinson in full flow is worth the Franklin's Gardens entrance fee alone - when crowds were allowed in, of course.

By Tom Vickers
Saturday, 2nd January 2021, 7:00 am
Rory Hutchinson
Rory Hutchinson

And during the past few weeks there have been signs that the Scotland centre is really starting to pull Saints' strings again.

Especially last Saturday, as the black, green and gold bagged a bonus-point win against Worcester Warriors.

Hutchinson showed no signs of a lack of confidence as he continually threatened the Warriors defence from all angles and areas of the field.

And to have the fleet-footed back returning to the kind of form he displayed when first cementing his place in the side can only be seen as a major boost for Saints.

For his part, Hutchinson insists Saints' difficult run of results - they had lost 12 games in succession before beating Worcester - didn't get to him.

He is, after all, one of the most relaxed players you will meet.

But there can be no doubt that when Saints are flying, Hutchinson is flowing.

And the 24-year-old can't wait to try to build on the 29-10 Boxing Day win when his side host Leicester Tigers next Saturday.

"We had two days off after the Worcester game and there's definitely a smile on the faces after coming back in," Hutchinson said.

"We're back to work and ready for the next challenge.

"Looking over the games before Worcester, we hadn't actually been too far off.

"The Bordeaux game we conceded a try off the post and didn't take our opportunities in their 22.

"We played well in parts against Leinster, who are a very good outfit.

"We were very unlucky not to win at Bristol so if we'd won that and the Bordeaux game it wouldn't have even been a conversation.

"Yes, we're improving, and we want to keep improving, but we've been finding some confidence again.

"We know we don't need to worry, we're good enough and it's about putting the pieces of the puzzle together."

But did Saints' barren run ever affect the way Hutchinson played the game?

"No, not really," he said.

"The tough bit about professional sport is that when you start losing, everyone starts picking up on the smallest details that aren't even mentioned when you win.

"You've got to be really careful how you approach things but the squad stuck together really well.

"It was obviously a tough time with all the outside stuff but we've done really well to keep our heads and hopefully we can keep going up now."

And Saints are desperate to maintain their upward trajectory against local rivals Leicester Tigers.

"Absolutely, we're not switching off at all," Hutchinson said.

"We want to attack every game we get because we want to push back up the table.

"It's unfortunate we haven't been able to do it earlier on, but we're looking forward to the next run of games and we want to climb back up the table."

It is often said in sport that teams have to experience tough times before they sample success.

And Hutchinson agrees with that.

He said: "We spoke about it in a meeting and said 'put your hand up if you've been through a tough run of games before' and quite a lot of people have been through this hurt before.

"You learn a lot more from a loss and sometimes you need something to bring you back down to earth a bit.

"We were doing really well at one stage and for us it's about getting back to where we were, but lots of lessons will be learned from this run.

"Hopefully this is the end of that run."