Saints star Harrison searching for complete performance

Teimana Harrison says he is still searching for a 'complete performance' at Saints this season.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 20th October 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:35 am
Teimana Harrison (right) shows his disappointment during Saints' defeat to Saracens (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Teimana Harrison (right) shows his disappointment during Saints' defeat to Saracens (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

And he is hoping he can produce it in Saturday's huge Champions Cup clash with Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel Michelin.

Saints need to bounce back quickly from last Sunday's 57-13 defeat to Saracens at Franklin's Gardens.

And a big display from Harrison would help them, with the back row forward one of the key men in the pack for Jim Mallinder's side.

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"I'm getting there," said Harrison when asked about his own form.

"I haven't put a complete performance together.

"Some games my defence has been really good and I've maybe been lacking on the carrying side.

"In other games, my carrying has been good and I've been lacking on the defensive side.

"I'm just trying to put both areas of the game together and get a good, consistent run."

Harrison did his best to unsettle Saracens last weekend, but Saints were well beaten.

And he said: "It's difficult to watch back, to see all the mistakes we made and how easily rectified they are.

"It's just simple ball handling because we didn't look after it enough and we didn't stop them getting gain line from first phase, second phase, third phase.

"They were always on top of us and it makes it very difficult to play rugby when you're on the back foot all the time.

"It was very frustrating but there are a lot of things we can learn from and take into this weekend."

This weekend, Clermont, who lost to Saracens in last season's Champions Cup final, will provide a formidable challenge at their fortress.

And Harrison said: "Clermont are a very tough team, especially at home.

"Reviewing them this week, they've got dangerous ball carriers everywhere and dangerous defenders.

"We've got our work cut out, but we're looking forward to the challenge.

"We're looking forward to trying to bounce back and if we want to have any hope of proceeding on in this tournament we have to get a win this weekend.

"We need to be firing on all cylinders and we need to match their physicality.

"If we let them get on a roll, they will just pump us so we need to be on top form this weekend."

Saints will go to Clermont without George North.

The Wales wing is out for six to eight weeks due after suffering a a sprain to his posterior cruciate ligament in last Sunday's defeat.

But with Tom Collins, Ben Foden, Ken Pisi, JP Estelles and Jamie Elliott vying for wing berths, Saints have plenty of options.

"G is obviously a big influence in our team and to lose him is disappointment," Harrison said.

"But at the minute we're quite lucky because Tom Collins is playing some outstanding rugby, Ben Foden is playing outstanding rugby as well.

"G will be missed, but thankfully we've got players who can step up and destroy teams as well, just maybe in different ways.

"Collins has great feet and Fodes is physical with great feet as well."