Planet Rugby

Preview: Northampton v Gloucester

08th February 2013 12:24

Share:

George Pisi try Northampton v Gloucester

Try machine: George Pisi

Northampton Saints host Gloucester at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday with just a point separating the two teams in the Premiership table.

With both clubs still in the hunt for a top four spot director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that it is important that the home players are up for the challenge.

"After four weeks of cup action we are looking forward to getting back to the Aviva Premiership," he commented.

"We're well placed in the league table and close to the top four, and with nine games left there is everything to play for.

"Although we played Gloucester a fortnight ago this will be a different game. Both teams will have quite a few changes from that day, and there is always an edge when league points are up for grabs.

"It's going to be a tough contest and as with every week we're going to have to be at our best."

Meanwhile, Jonny May and Nick Wood both return having been on England Saxons duty for the past two weeks and are both named in the Gloucester starting line-up.

Other changes to the team that started against Bath last weekend see Darren Dawidiuk, Will James, Akapusi Qera and Dan Robson all come in.

Looking back on that LV= Cup game of two weeks ago, Davies insisted this week that only so much can be read into the display.

"We kept our powder dry going into that game, we've got a few things going into this game which we've held back," he said.

"There were elements of that last game that I was really happy with, but it wasn't a complete performance by any stretch of the imagination.

"We were in the contest, very similar to last week, for a large period of the game before we dropped off."

Despite the two LV= Cup defeats of the last two weeks, Davies stressed that Gloucester are ready for the task in hand this weekend.

"It's been a complete refocus this week, and a re-organisation of what we've been looking at. And this has been planned. We'd have preferred to be going into this one off the back of two wins, but we're pretty clear about what we need to do.

"Over the past few weeks, we've played a bit more expansively than we have so far this season. The biggest problem we've got at the moment is discipline and that's fundamental to our game. We have to get that right."

Form: Northampton Saints' last four games in all competitions have all been won by the home side on the day. The Saints have won just one of their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures at Franklin's Gardens: against London Welsh, 23-16, on 24 November. Gloucester suffered their biggest home loss for over three years with their 5-32 defeat to Bath in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday. Gloucester have lost their last three away matches in the Premiership. The two clubs have already met twice this season with the Saints victorious on both occasions in the Premiership and Anglo-Welsh Cup. Gloucester's only win at Franklin's Gardens against Northampton since 2007 was 18-16 in February 2011.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Northampton Saints: 15 James Wilson, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 Ben Nutley, 6 Phil Dowson (capt), 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 James Craig, 20 Rhys Oakley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall (c), 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Jonny May, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Sione Kalamafoni 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Will James, 4 Lua Lokotui, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso d'Apice, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Shane Monahan, 23 Martyn Thomas.

Date: Saturday, February 9
Venue: Franklin's Gardens
Kick-off: 12.30 GMT
Referee: Martin Fox

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs Tasman19:35
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26