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Wood vows to keep plugging away

May 27, 2014 12:45:19 UK

Northampton Saints flanker Tom Wood is determined to right the wrongs from last year’s Aviva Premiership final defeat to Leicester Tigers when they take on Saracens.

Despite playing their full part in an exciting game 12 months ago, Northampton’s chances were effectively extinguished by Dylan Hartley’s first-half red card for swearing at referee Wayne Barnes.

It is a disappointment they have looked to put right this season and the Saints will get another chance when Jim Mallinder’s men go head-to-head with Sarries.

Wood said: “The Premiership trophy, particularly after the controversy of last year and the despair on the final day, would be really sweet.

“We’ve always known that we’ve had it in us, we’ve always had a huge amount of belief. We have a huge amount of character, a huge amount of belief in this team and I guess that’s what we’ve lacked in the past which is to finish it off in the dying seconds.”

In big games against top-quality opposition, that’s the fight you need to keep going and luckily we have it in spades now.

Tom Wood

Northampton’s victory in the Amlin Challenge Cup at the weekend was their first trophy for four years since they lifted the LV=Cup.

Having previously lacked that mental edge to win in finals, Wood believes that they have managed to overcome their frailties to get across the line in tight matches.

“That’s the composure the top teams have I guess to stay focused, think about the next job, stay in the moment and keep plugging away, and keep that belief even when a few things go against you because they inevitably will,” he added.

“In big games against top-quality opposition, that’s the fight you need to keep going and luckily we have it in spades now.

“We’ve recruited well, guys have been through some tough times and had that experience. Hopefully we’ve got enough to take us a step further in a couple of big competitions.”

Northampton are 2.30 to win the Aviva Premiership Grand Final outright, while Saracens are available at 1.61 to come out on top. A Saints penalty is 2.50 to be the first scoring play in the match while a Sarries win by between 11 and 15 points can be backed at 7.00.

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