Samoan star Pisi back in his stride ahead of Saints’ clash with Saracens

Ken Pisi was in fine form against Worcester last weekend (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Ken Pisi was in fine form against Worcester last weekend (picture: Sharon Lucey)

When assessing Saints’ mixed season so far, it would be easy to focus all of the attention on the men who have played in a large part of it.

But perhaps some of the focus should be on players who have not been able to contribute as they did last season, when Northampton topped the Premiership for the first time.

The previous campaign’s players’ and supporters’ player of the year, Calum Clark, will not feature at all as he has been ruled out since pre-season with a shoulder injury.

Influential utility back James Wilson didn’t get to feature until the end of January due to an arm injury picked up in last season’s play-off semi-final defeat to Saracens.

And Ken Pisi, who, had Clark not been so impressive last season, could easily have been crowned player of the year, has been in and out with niggly injuries since the World Cup.

But the Samoan wing has been back with a bang in recent weeks.

His fine run helped set up Christian Day’s try in the win at Harlequins, during which Pisi made one of the tackles of the season, on Quins scrum-half Tito Tebaldi.

And then, last week, Pisi was involved in the moment of the match as his superb scything run set up a score for Harry Mallinder.

It was an eye-catching moment and a hugely pleasing one for the Franklin’s Gardens faithful, who were delighted to see their ever-smiling Samoan return.

“Personally, it’s been disappointing,” said Pisi, when asked about his season so far at this week’s media session.

“I haven’t really played as much as I would have liked to, so getting back out there with the boys is awesome.

“I’m just taking my opportunities because there’s a lot of competition in our position and when you get the chance, you’ve got to make the most of it.

“I’ve had a few niggles, but everyone’s playing well and it’s been tough at some points just getting into the team.

“You’re always going to have your downs, but just getting back up was a work-on for me and I’m slowly getting back up there.”

There was nothing slow about Pisi’s performance last weekend.

And he will now be aiming to step on the accelerator again to help propel Saints past Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday.

“It’s always a big game against Saracens - current champs against former champs,” said Pisi, who has scored three tries in eight appearances this season.

“My first game at Allianz Park was when we won in the semi-final (in 2013), we weren’t tipped to win, but we went there and demolished them so hopefully we can repeat that on Saturday.

“Sarries are always tough but we’ve got a good chance of pulling out a win.

“I’ll be looking to do what I can for the team.”