Wilson unconcerned at Saints’ underdog tag ahead of Saracens semi-final

Utility back James Wilson has shrugged off the fact Saints go into Sunday’s Aviva Premiership semi-final at Saracens as underdogs.
CONFIDENT - James Wilson (Picture: Linda Dawson)CONFIDENT - James Wilson (Picture: Linda Dawson)
CONFIDENT - James Wilson (Picture: Linda Dawson)

The New Zealander accepts that Sarries will be strong favourites to progress to the grand final at Twickenham, but he says Saints will travel to Allianz Park in a confident frame of mind, no matter what the bookies say.

“We have had that (the underdogs tag) pretty much all year round, and I don’t see that as a negative for us,” said Wilson.

“It is going to be tough, we know that.

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“Saracens have a good record at home, and we are just going to have put all our efforts into that game and really give it to them.”

Sarries’ new Barnet home boasts an artificial playing surface, and Sunday’s game will be the first time Saints have played on a plastic pitch.

Wilson has done though, and he said: “I have had a run-out on an Astroturf pitch.

“I don’t know if the ohter guys have, but it is going be a quick game.

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“Hopefully the weather will be nice and we can have a good game of rugby.”

Saints go into the game on the back of a 22-19 defeat at Harlequins on Saturday, and Wilson is taking huge heart from their fightback from, at one stage, trailing 22-5.

“Early on it seemed we were just throwing the ball around a little bit too much, rather than holding on to it and building some more phases,” Wilson told BBC Radio Northampton.

“I think that cost us a bit.

“Harlequins scored a few points too early, and it was a tough start.

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“We always wanted to put on a good show to build up for next weekend.

“It was a bit of a dead rubber, but we wanted to take on some good things for next week and I thought we did that.

“There was enough out there on Saturday that was positive.

“We showed some composure after a bad start to the second half that and built back into the game, which was good.

“We eventually started to hold on to the ball, especially in their half, and that was positive for us.