Amlin Challenge Cup final: Northampton Saints buoyant ahead of Bath showdown
Last Updated: 23/05/14 12:25pm
England centre Luther Burrell believes the time has come for Northampton Saints as they bid to reverse their wretched recent record in finals.
The Saints are preparing for a fourth final in three seasons; they were edged out in last season’s Premiership showpiece by Leicester Tigers before going on to lose the Anglo-Welsh Cup final to Exeter Chiefs this season, a trophy they also missed out on in 2012.
However, Norhampton now stand on the cusp of a European and domestic double with an Amlin Challenge Cup final against Bath on Friday, before a Premiership final showdown with Saracens eight days later.
Burrell believes Saints have gained valuable experience from those near-misses and thinks they are now ready to seize their opportunities.
“We’ve been in this situation, we’ve been in the LV Cup final this year, Premiership final last year, we feel it’s our time,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s about taking the game by the scruff of the neck now and not sitting back and letting teams get the upper hand on us.”
Fellow England international Lee Dickson echoed the determination of Burrell and says Saints are out to provide a performance worthy of silverware.
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“We’ve been in three finals now and been pipped in all three of them so we need to win one, we need to win both of them to be fair,” he said.
“We’re going to try and address that this weekend, we’ve addressed a bit of it in training.
“We’ve just got to go out there and play. You’ve just got to take a final as another day and go out there, express yourself and enjoy it.”
Meanwhile, Northampton's attack coach Alex King believes losing finals is all part of the journey towards lifting trophies.
“You use your experiences and you learn from them,” he said. “I don’t know a team in sport who hasn’t lost a final before they’ve started winning them.
“When I played at Wasps we lost a few finals and big knockout games before we turned it around, Leinster lost big games, Munster lost big games and then they turn those disappointments into wins.”