Wood calls for Saints to up their game
May 17, 2014
Tom Wood enjoys the moment © Getty Images
Tom Wood has called for his Northampton Saints side to move up another gear in the wake of their Aviva Premiership semi-final win over Leicester Tigers on Friday evening.
Wood, who was named Man of the Match, scored what proved to be the winning try in the 76th minute to hand the Saints their first win over their East Midlands rivals since 2010. The win was even more remarkable as Northampton had to play much of the second-half with 14 men after Salesi Ma'afu was red carded for punching Tom Youngs but even though the Saints enjoyed the triumph, Wood has called for focus ahead of the Amlin Challenge Cup final and then the Premiership finale on May 31.
"It's difficult to manage now because that's such a high," he said. "There's so much to celebrate and so many positives, but the job's not finished and somehow we've got to keep our feet on the ground, and regroup.
"It's all about preparing for two massive finals now, and we've worked too hard for too long to come away with nothing. We're not entitled to it, but I think we've got the armoury to win it if we get everything right. We've got to go up another gear I think."
Mallinder said Saints must savour the victory, albeit remaining mindful that a breakthrough trophy still eludes his side. "It's significant in terms of turning Leicester over, we've had some great tussles with them over the last few years," he said. "Hopefully that's going to give us momentum, and we've got two finals in two weeks now to look forward to.
"We've beaten Leicester which is good, we've got through to the final, but a significant moment will be when we win a big trophy. We've got through to a Heineken Cup final and the Premiership final last season, but a significant breakthrough will be landing a big trophy.
"What we do is enjoy the moment and enjoy the win. You've got to: you don't get too many wins like this, so it would be stupid not to enjoy it."
Dejected Leicester boss Richard Cockerill said: ''It hurts because it's Northampton, and it hurts because it's a semi-final 'They deserved it and we just made far too many errors. Ultimately not winning silverware is a big disappointment and effectively a failure for a club of our stature. But my players have given everything and I am extremely proud of what they have achieved."
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