Tonga’uiha targets Premiership success after European exit

Soane Tonga’uiha admits he’s disappointed with how the past two European campaigns have gone for Saints.

But he has emphasised the players’ desire to pour everything they’ve got into the pursuit of LV= Cup and Premiership glory.

Saints bowed out of the Heineken Cup at the pool stages for the second season in succession after last weekend’s 27-20 defeat to Glasgow.

They finished with three wins and three defeats to their names, a far cry from the 2010/11 season when they won all six pool games before going on to reach the final.

And Tonga’uiha said: “I’m a bit disappointed to be honest, especially with where we were three years ago in the Heineken Cup final.

“To not be able to get to that next stage during the past two years has been a bit disappointing but we’ve got to look at the other two competitions we’ve got coming up.”

So just why have Saints fallen short in the past two seasons?

“There are a lot of different reasons but I think teams are aware of what our strengths are,” said Tonga’uiha, who made his 200th Northampton appearance in the reverse at Scotstoun.

“They’re working us out and we just need to change our game plan a bit and work to put a bit of variety into our game.”

Saints’ failure to progress has, in part, been down to their inability to take their chances in games.

Tonga’uiha and his team-mates clearly recognise that shortcoming and the Tongan titan says they have been working on rectifying it in training.

“It’s definitely something to work on. “It’s something we’ve spoken about in the past two weeks, about actually finishing off opportunties we’ve created for ourselves, especially getting into the opposition’s 22.

“We need to be patient and be more clinical and accurate in what we do. Again on Saturday we got opportunities and didn’t take them.”