Listen to Karmichael Hunt Mic'd up!

Matt Talaese red carded at fulltime

Pass Around The World with Allianz

France convincing winners over England

RWC Players to Watch: Anthony Watson

Wallabies 31-man squad for RWC 2015

All Blacks fined for waterboy Messam

Levani Botia smashes Tonga to set up try

Sensational Stepper Nehe Milner-Skudder

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Northampton Saints beat Saracens at the death in the Aviva Premiership Final

If you missed it on what was a jam-packed day, here is a quick wrap-up of the Aviva Premiership final between Saracens and Northampton Saints. Saints won the game 24-20 in dramatic fashion, and coach Jim Mallinder has since had his contract extended.

While Saracens were aiming for a unique double of the Heineken Cup and the Premiership titles, they ended up with runner-up tags in both, while Saints achieved a double of their own, winning the Amlin Challenge Cup final a week earlier, then the Premiership title 24-20 at the death.

Jim Mallinder said this week that Saints are a 'superb club' and coaching them is 'a brilliant job'.

"There are not many positions like this in world rugby and I've loved every minute of being here. We've had a few ups and downs, but generally we've been on the up since being in the first division that first year. We're getting better and better – not just as a team and a squad, but as a club, and it's something I want to be a part of.

"I'm more motivated now than when I first came here. The challenges are huge. There are plenty of ambitious clubs in the Aviva Premiership and we want to be better than them," he said.

The focus now turns to the England side, with Waller one of those players added to the squad to take on the All Blacks in New Zealand. Other Saints players to join the tour party include Luther Burrell, Lee Dickson, Ben Foden, Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes, and Stephen Myler.

From Saracens, Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt, Owen Farrell, Alex Goode, Billy Vunipola and Richard Wigglesworth have all flown over to New Zealand too. The first Test is this coming Saturday.

Posted by Rugbydump at 11:31 am | View Comments (31)

Viewing 31 comments

Gulli June 03, 2014 7:56 pm

Only saw the last 15 minutes of extra time but really couldnt see how the tv ref awarded the last try. It seemed as if the player crashed into his own player before placing the ball. From the footage shown on tv i couldnt see the ball being placed on the line with his first reach. It then seemed as if he rolled the ball forward which in itself is not allowed. Tv ref must have had different footage but the pick and go was still into his own player. Or not?

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joe June 03, 2014 10:29 pm

ive only seen it in the highlights there but just on the point of rolling the the six nations sam warburton got a try (cant remember who against) where he reached for the line, didnt quite make it then rolled the ball a bit to get there and there was no problem so maybe as long as ur still in control and its not a second movement?

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ruckinmaul June 04, 2014 1:05 am

I think, rolled the ball is not a second movement, because you use only your hand just to roll it just like when you place the ball. Second movement is where you use your body or feet to move your body closer to the try line and then place the ball.

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DanKnapp June 03, 2014 8:30 pm

It was a cracking game of Rugby. It must be frustrating to finish top of the league and yet still have to play semi-finals and then a final, but it doesn't half make for a great showcase. The two semis and the final were all outstanding games.

I think this game highlighted some of the issues with the TMO, although I think the TMO helped the right decisions to be made and the final result was fair. I can appreciate the frustration from the Sarries coaching staff regarding the unsolicited TMO intervention for their (non)try, but the correct decision was made. I guess this just shows that we need to have the best training available for our referees and then trust them to run the game in the way that they think is best on the day.

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jimmy23 June 03, 2014 9:03 pm

Had the pleasure of attending the game! Fantastic match and a wonderful atmosphere, reinforced every reason I have for loving this sport. Saints winning was the icing on the cake.
As for that final try, I can't quite remember which angle it was but when it came up some of the Sarries players went up to the Saints and started shaking their hands. If they, of all people, thought it was a try I don't see how anyone else could disagree.

Also Rugbydump, there were a number of cracking hits in the game. If you could rustle up Courtney Lawes's hit on Hodgson (about 60 mins in) and find the huge collision between Farrell and North (around the 50 minute mark I think) that would be great :)

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DrG June 03, 2014 11:11 pm

Must be a hard game for any neutrals to cheer. Who do you want to win? Dylan Hartley and his bunch, or Chris Ashton and Owen Farrell and their lot..

Jury is out on that one...

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DanKnapp June 04, 2014 8:25 am

Far from it, as a neutral with a taste for the dramatic, it was pretty riveting stuff. I don't 'like' the Farrell who appears on the pitch, but then I don't think that I, a relatively sensitive soul, would like the people that most professional sportspersons turn into on the pitch. I care more about pride in the shirt, pride in and sacrifice for their team and entertaining Rugby. This final had it all in bucketloads.

English Rugby is in great shape at the moment. I think there are still tweaks which could be made to the game in order to improve it further still (such as moving to a summer season or having more professional teams adopt a 4G pitch such as Sarries have - all to develop more running Rugby) but the current French system or cherry picking our older, more experienced players at the end of their careers is helping more and more young English players to get into their first teams early in their careers. It's exciting and positive stuff.

I am a huge fan of the Super 15 and think it produces some of the most watchable games, even if it can be a bit throwaway at times, but the final three games of the season in the English premiership had it all.

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DrG June 04, 2014 8:37 am

I'm not suggesting it was a dull game, I just think choosing who I would like to win out of Farrell + Ashton vs Hartley would be a difficult choice...

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DanKnapp June 04, 2014 12:57 pm

Think of it as Burger, Brits and Borthwick versus Lawes, North and Corbs.

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DrG June 05, 2014 11:17 pm

Gotta be backing Corbs really...

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WelshOsprey June 04, 2014 12:12 am

Great final. Always good to see Farrell lose out on another trophy. I can't be the only one who gets annoyed when people say he can kick under pressure then always seems to miss really important kicks?

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jimmy23 June 04, 2014 8:35 am

He didn't miss any important kicks though? That was Hodgson

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WelshOsprey June 05, 2014 1:28 am

Yes because he missed all his kicks against Wales in the recent six I think he made all of them, oh I forget they won, woops another idiot not knowing what i'm talking about....
and then he scored all those points against new zealand in the first half which basically won them game in the grand scheme of things
and then he scored that try which put them ahead of australia in their most recent win
didn't halfpenny score that try or set up north in that big win against the wallabies.....oh wait.... that was the Lions...not Wales
that's right us Welsh don't win games that matter....
Yea Farrell is great i'm going to exchange my Welsh jersey for a nice Owen Farrell England 10.

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DanKnapp June 05, 2014 5:36 am

Are you alright WelshOsprey? You don't sound yourself in this last post. You've also lost your command of basic grammar.

Do we need to follow the concussion protocols?

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DrG June 05, 2014 9:15 am

Now now, he might be a tool but false accounts are pathetically weak..

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MisterDavid June 04, 2014 10:10 am

Side-note: I thought it was fascinating to see how the teams approached extra-time. The packs were both out on their feet, so for the first period it was mainly backs and kicking, and the penalties came because supporting players couldn't get to the breakdown quickly enough. However, when Northampton switched to pick-and-drive at the end. Saracens couldn't hold the gain-line (as they had done all match) and were taken back, and back, and back.

Bearing in mind extra-time may come into play at the World Cup, I thought that was interesting to see.

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DarrenR June 04, 2014 2:52 pm

I was there as a neutral and ended up amongst Saints supporters - great great atmosphere. Normally when you watch live club games the international players really stand out. Burrell, Burger, Brits, Lawes and the Pisis definitely did. I was really disappointed with Farrell, Ashton and North.
North executed one of the worst kicks to touch ever under no pressure at all. Ashton disappeared for large parts of the game and Farrell was completely anonymous.
On the back of that game I would have Myler in the Eng squad ahead of Farrell and I am a Tigers fan!

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Lockdown June 04, 2014 3:15 pm

I know its the fashionable thing to hate on Saracens and Ashton + Farrell in particular, but it's a little unfair to say Farrell was anonymous, he played well when on the pitch and if he hadn't done that stupid kick celebration he would have played well the rest of the game.

I am a Saracens so maybe a little biased but on this season I would not pick another english ten over him for all round game. If he develops his running play even more then I can't see another option. (For fairness I wasn't saying that one or two years ago)

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DarrenR June 04, 2014 3:44 pm

Lockdown - I was really looking forward to seeing Farrell play live, I have been a TV admirer of his. I just felt a bit concerned by his lack of presence.

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db June 04, 2014 10:20 pm

On Farrell - what's that gesture after his kicks? Is it just stupid or is there something more annoying to it?

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James June 05, 2014 1:33 am

I thought I read during the six nations that there was a sick kid in the hospital and he makes the gesture as a shout out to the kid.
So as you were saying it's probably just stupid or possibly more annoying stupidity.

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Silks June 05, 2014 5:13 am

The gesture Farrell does after his kicks or tries is the same as other professional sportsmen and women and it relates to joining Jack the son of an ex Wigan Rugby League Player Andy Johnson whose son Jack is ill and the charity is called joining Jack.

I live and work in Hong Kong and I know that, must be annoying and possibly stupid that you dont know and your resident in the UK?

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Guest June 05, 2014 7:20 am

How incredibly rude!

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Guest June 05, 2014 7:32 am

Sorry if you think it's rude.. The kid jack is very ill and most celebrities are behind the charity, and in fairness his words used stupid and stupidity, the gesture is goodwill.

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DrG June 05, 2014 9:20 am

The gesture may have been in goodwill and all, but the fact still remains that (after a google search) there are around 180,000 registered charities in the UK and many many more which are under the threshold for registration, so although you might know of this particular one, I bet I could pull out a few charities you've never heard of.

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DrG June 05, 2014 9:22 am

For the record I actually have heard of that charity but only through researching that gesture when someone was doing it a while ago (again maybe Farrell?)...

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Silks June 05, 2014 9:37 am

DrG that may be the case, however why is the bashing of Farrell coming from? He can be petulant at times but seems to be growing up a bit. He is confident which can lead to arrogance and he has done some stupid things in the past.

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DrG June 05, 2014 2:56 pm

I was on both the Bash Farrell and Bash Ash bandwagons before they were cool...

For the record, I recognise both Farrell and Ashtons abilities as players and I am sure they are both maturing to the point they can be trusted with a paint by numbers kit, but right now I take both of them with a pinch of salt.

Ashton is shaky in defence but I have less 'dislike' for him on a whole.

Farrell on the other hand was behaving like a w*nker in the 2014 6N so I don't personally think enough time has past for me to view him as anything less than that prick he has demonstrated he is.

Jonny Wilkinson was a great player in defence, attack, set play, kicking etc etc, the only side of him any of us didn't like to see was his injury proneness - of course having seen interviews and read articles it appears he was somewhat mentally plagued when he was on the pitch as a young England player. But hell if that bloke walked around with a cocky attitude at least he had the cool head to carry it off...

Farrell on the other hand behaves like a petulant child that knows he cannot be hurt because the law protects him. I'd love to throw him back in time to when a nasty second row would encourage him to lie down and have a nap - I think then he would focus solely on playing the damn game and not pretending to be a sneaky little scrum half or trying to be one of the 'big boys'...

Players effing around is fine by me, but the one player ever team needs to not get involved in that sort of sh*t is their 10! - and THAT is why I; and perhaps many others, dislike what Farrell currently is today...

Keep playing him and by all means he might become a more likeable player, but for the moment he looks like he's heading towards being an Austin Healey Mk2!

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db June 05, 2014 1:26 pm

to James, Silks et al. - I stand corrected and whish I'd known before.

For the record, I'm not a resident of the UK or any English-speaking country and yes, I've seen this for the first time.

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DrG June 05, 2014 11:15 pm

Don't worry about it, a lot of people will have JUST seen it for the first time, this whole site often gives users the opportunity to have friendly (hah) chats with one another and actually ask/answer questions etc

If someone gets uptight when you ask a question like that, then that is his problem, not yours :D

Stick around - I'm sure you'll fit in.

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silks June 06, 2014 2:05 am

DB - I to stand corrected.. i thought more about the kid than Farrell.

DrG - I think it will be along time before anyone comes near JW as he was the nearest to perfection we have seen. Farrell et al might be good but to come near the level as JW achieved, may never happend.

Regards to Ashton i think he's going backwards not forward in his developement.

I think they've both been away from home to long, as back home no matter how big you thought you were there was always be an old chap to bring some reality back LOL

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