Wood: Saints have to shock Tigers with intensity

FINAL AMBITION - Tom Wood (Picture: Linda Dawson)
FINAL AMBITION - Tom Wood (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Tom Wood wants Saints to shock Leicester with their intensity when the east midlands rivals square up at Twickenham on May 25.

Northampton surged into the Premiership showpiece with a 27-13 win against Saracens at Allianz Park on Sunday.

It brought an end to their semi-final hoodoo as they broke a run of three successive play-off semi-final defeats.

The win owed much to the pressure Saints exerted on Saracens from start to finish, as they suffocated the home side.

And England captain Wood wants to see more of the same from his team when they take on the Tigers in less than two weeks’ time.

“It’s a big step for us to get to the final and not fall short at the semi,” he said.

“But there’s still a lot of hard work ahead of us.

“Leicester are pretty comfortable in this environment. They’ve exposed us once this season so we need to get out there and hopefully we can shock them with our intensity early on in the game.

“It’s just 80 minutes and anything can happen on the day.”

Leicester beat Harlequins 33-16 on Saturday to book their place in a ninth successive Premiership grand final.

They have won their past seven meetings with Northampton, including a 36-8 success at Franklin’s Gardens back in March.

And Wood knows Saints owe Richard Cockerill’s side more than one.

He said: “We can’t get carried away at this stage.

“It’s no good being in a final and then folding. We’ve got time to prepare for that.

“We know the threat Leicester pose and we know how tough a game that’s going to be.

“They’re quite different to Saracens.

“We’ve got to get back to the drawing board a reassess because we saw what they did to us at home not so long ago.”

“We really owe them a few because we’ve had some tough times against Leicester recently.

“But we’re proven what we can do when we get it together and it’s just about reproducing that.”