The two best teams in the Aviva Premiership clashed today – and there was a decisive winner
THE MOST PUZZLING thing to come out of the Champions Cup this year has got to be the capitulation of Northampton. The Saints are motoring at the top of the Aviva Premiership but their last two games in Europe saw them soundly trounced by Racing Metro and Clermont.
Nobody can live with ASM when they are in that sort of irresistible form but the way Northampton meekly rolled over in the 37-5 defeat was pretty galling.
They have a ferociously tigerish pack backboned by Alex Corbisiero, Courtney Lawes and Samu Manoa and although their European campaign ended in failure, they look set for a successful defence of their Aviva crown.
They took on European semi-finalists Saracens at Twickenham today and a powerful second half saw them win 25-20.
American wing Chris Wyles scored two tries for Saracens while Northampton out-half Stephen Myler kicked 20 points as Manoa added a try.
The victory gives Northampton a five-point lead at the top of the table with two rounds left and they will almost certainly have a home semi-final.
They should enjoy Manoa’s contributions while they can though, as the American is off to Toulon at the end of the season.
Northampton’s dominant display today makes their Champions Cup performances even more mystifying. After all, they were only six-point underdogs against Clermont but were down by about 500 points after 30 minutes.
The organisers of the Champions Cup are VERY desperate to shift final ticketsThere were tears of joy in France as the little guys upset the world’s greatest club team
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