Waldouck says consistency is key to European glory

If the current Saints squad were asked to list their achievements in the game, only one could write the words ‘Heineken Cup winner’.

Dom Waldouck was part of the Wasps side which conquered Europe in 2007, beating Saints in the semi-final before slaying Leicester Tigers in the showpiece.

Dom Waldouck

Dom Waldouck

And, consequently, the centre, who was 19 at the time, knows exactly what ingredients are needed to cook up a storm in the competition.

“Consistency,” said Waldouck when asked to reveal the recipe for Heineken Cup success. “You can’t have a day off because the teams are so good in it, they’re ruthless.

“You’ve got to be consistent in your performance, you can’t lose games. You’ve got to win your home games and you’ve got to push teams away as well.

“The challenge is the intensity and the increase in competition and quality of the teams.”

Waldouck and his Saints team-mates head to Toulouse on Friday night, looking to claim their second win in as many games in this season’s competition, against Castres.

And the clash conjures up sweet memories for the 25-year-old centre.

He explained: “Funnily enough we had Castres in our group when we won the Heineken Cup in 2007 and the victory down there to go through the group stages was a very important one.

“It was us and Castres who went through and we managed to beat them away to get that home quarter-final spot.

“It’s a great competition and you always want to do well in it.”

If Saints are to progress from pool 4, they will need to show their steel on the road.

And with a tricky trip to Ulster lying in wait, as well as a visit to Scotland to take on Glasgow Warriors, Jim Mallinder’s men will be eager to get early points on the board.

But Castres, despite being the lowest ranked team in the pool, won’t be an easy proposition.

And Waldouck recognises the importance of getting on top early as Saints aim to end the Top 14 team’s 100 per cent home record.

“It’s a huge challenge to go to France and get a result,” he said. “It will be a hostile crowd down there and it will be a tough challenge. They’ve got a good side.

“We’ll have to silence them early on and put our game plan into action in order to get a result down there. We’re aware of the challenge in hand.

“With any French side, as soon as you let them get their heads in front and get their crowd behind them it heightens the challenge.

“It’s important for us to establish ourselves early on, silence that crowd and then push on from there.”

And if they can do that, Saints will be one step closer to sampling the feeling Waldouck enjoyed five years ago.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “It’s a sweet competition to win.”