Manoa wants more than just top four


SAMU MANOA says finishing in the top four of the Premiership last season was good – but admits he is desperate for Saints to be No.1.

Jim Mallinder’s men, who ended the campaign in fourth, fell short in the play-off semi-finals, losing 25-23 to eventual champions Harlequins

They have reached the play-offs for three successive seasons but hopes are high that this can be the year they make it to the grand final.

Manoa, who joined the club from San Francisco Golden Gate last summer, would love them to do that and the American lock wants his team to become the best side England has to offer.

“It’s always good to be in the top four but you want to be No.1,” said the 27-year-old, who signed a new three-year deal at Saints in February.

“We had some good results but we fell short in the semis so hopefully this year we can win some silverware for the supporters.

“Every game’s going to be tough for us and we’ve just got to work hard and play together.”

Manoa and Co will look to maintain the momentum they gained by beating Gloucester 24-19 in the Premiership curtain-raiser at Kingsholm last weekend.

And the unflappable forward can’t wait to get stuck into Exeter Chiefs at Franklin’s Gardens on Sunday (ko 3pm).

Manoa said: “It was a good win last week and hopefully we can continue the streak this Sunday.

“It’s always good playing at Franklin’s Gardens. You’re playing for the fans, for yourself and for the team and the fans here really get behind you.

“It’s going to be a tough game but we’ll be all right.”