Northampton Saints 38 Worcester Warriors 10: Tom Vickers' review and player ratings

As leaving parties go, this was a pretty perfect celebration for the likes of Luther Burrell and Ken Pisi.

By Tom Vickers
Sunday, 5th May 2019, 6:10 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th May 2019, 6:13 pm
Luther Burrell signed off in style as he scored on his final Franklin's Gardens appearance
Luther Burrell signed off in style as he scored on his final Franklin's Gardens appearance

Tears and beers were flowing as some true Saintsmen signed off in style.

It began with a trademark Burrell burst that led to an early try for the popular centre, who is heading to rugby league side Warrington Wolves this summer.

And it ended with Pisi - destination still unknown - able to enter the field with his team having already all but secured a bonus-point win.

The Samoan later led a chant at the farewell ceremony, with all of his team-mates joining in to make it a memorable moment.

Pisi was said to be conjuring up some skulduggery in the dressing room after the match - and why not?

After all, the win that Saints secured means the club will be back at the top table in Europe next season as they have now made sure of a top-six finish and, consequently, Champions Cup rugby.

And how delighted Burrell and Pisi will be to leave the club where they found it: competing with the very best.

Ken Pisi said a fond farewell to the Franklin's Gardens faithful

In between times, they have played key roles in trophy wins and top-four finishes, most notably during the 2013/14 season when Saints won their first Premiership title as well as the European Challenge Cup.

And now they will be setting their sights on another double as they look to add a second Premiership crown to the Premiership Rugby Cup they won in March.

Saints moved back into the play-off places thanks to their comfortable success against Worcester, which came with plenty left in the tank.

Chris Boyd was able to withdraw some of this season's stars during the second period, with the likes of Teimana Harrison and Cobus Reinach trotting off to warm applause and loud cheers on the final home outing of the current campaign.

And after all the goodbyes were said by the Gardens faithful, attention quickly turned to what lies ahead.

Unlike last season, when Worcester again proved the perfect party guests, falling to defeat against the likes of Ben Foden and Stephen Myler at the Gardens on the final day, Saints are not done.

Instead, they have a huge chance of finishing fourth, earning a shot at Exeter or Saracens in the play-offs.

If the black, green and gold win at Sandy Park on May 18, fourth place is theirs.

If they don't, they will be hoping Wasps can defeat Harlequins at the Ricoh Arena.

And you would think that is entirely possible, given Quins' recent form.

But Saints will know that they are in control of their own destiny, and they will not want to relinquish that.

Exeter have slipped slightly during the closing stages of the regular season, while Saints have won three successive league games on the road.

But the fact that we are even mentioning the two teams in the same breath at this stage of the season is a huge achievement in itself.

What a job Chris Boyd and Co have done to turn the Saints ship around since last summer.

The team has improved month by month and they can now fly into the final match of the regular season with real belief.

There have been injuries galore, but the strength of the squad has shown, with the positive mentality that has been instilled by the coaches there for all to see.

Players like Burrell, Pisi and James Craig won't be part of that next season, but they have played their part in steering the ship out of troubled waters.

And they can be hugely proud of what they have achieved, no matter what happens in the next few weeks.

How they rated...


Looked secure throughout but it was quite a quiet day for the full-back as other backs stole the show... 6


Grabbed a superb hat-trick against Newcastle last week but was much quieter on this occasion as all the action came on the other wing... 6


So often catches the eye in attack and while he impressed going forward, it was some of his tackling that really made an impact this time round... 8


What a shift this man has put in at Saints. Through all the highs and lows, he has kept going and kept producing, and this try-scoring display was no different... 10


While Burrell and Pisi stole the limelight on their Franklin's Gardens farewell, this man did his best to claim the headlines, scoring twice in a gargantuan man of the match showing... 9


Kicked every point that came his way in yet another hugely impressive showing at fly-half. Has been every bit the world-class signing Saints hoped he would be... 8


A typically sparky showing from the scrum-half, who battled on after taking a knock to pull the strings for Saints... 7


A big display from the prop as he helped Saints to dominate in the scrum and also got stuck in, making 10 tackles without missing one... 8


So impressive around the field, the hooker is a big part of Saints' slick attacking game, and he bagged a trademark try from a dominant lineout drive... 8


A strong presence as he savoured his starting chance, showing he still has plenty to offer this side... 7


Came into the team at late notice as Api Ratuniyarawa was ill, and the England Under-20s lock's first Premiership start was hugely successful as he looked assured throughout... 8


Another big game from the big man as he looked class every time he got near the ball in defence and attack... 8


Worked really hard for his team, putting pressure on Worcester at the breakdown and using all of his experience... 7


Scored Saints' bonus-point try and provided a huge amount of determination as Saints won the back row battle... 8


Another energetic display from the No.8 as he charged around the field, making plenty of hits and carries... 7

Replacements (who have won the Premiership title with Saints)


Didn't quite get 20 minutes, but he deserves a rating for all he has done, and he was a typically lively presence in his Franklin's Gardens farewell... 10