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- Aviva Premiership
- Semi Final
- 12th May 2013
- KO 15:00
- Ground: Allianz Park
- Att: 9,998
Aviva Premiership: Northampton inspired by Wigan heroics
We hadn't beaten a top three team and they clearly were the favourites today. But the favourites don't always win. I had a number of people reminding me of that after the Wigan-Manchester City game yesterday.
Quotes of the week
Northampton stunned Saracens 27-13 to reach their first Aviva Premiership final after being inspired by Wigan's FA Cup heroics - and memories of their Heineken Cup nightmare.
Wigan overturned the odds to beat Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday and Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder took that as proof that anything was possible for his underdog side at Allianz Park.
Northampton, who had finished 12 points behind table-toppers Saracens in the regular season, raced into a 17-0 half-time lead with tries from Brian Mujati and Jamie Elliott.
But no-one in the Saints changing room was complacent at the interval because, only two years ago, Northampton led Leinster 22-6 in the Heineken Cup final and went on to lose 33-22.
Owen Farrell kicked two penalties to keep alive any faint hopes of a Saracens comeback - but they were quashed when GJ Van Velze scored Northampton's third try just before the hour.
Saracens did engineer a consolation try from Duncan Taylor when Elliot was in the sin-bin but it was the Saints who marched on to Twickenham.
Asked about the inspiration he drew from Wigan's FA Cup win, Mallinder said: "They (Saracens) finished first and we were fourth. They were unbeaten here and we hadn't beaten them all season.
"We hadn't beaten a top three team and they clearly were the favourites today.
"But the favourites don't always win. I had a number of people reminding me of that after the Wigan-Manchester City game yesterday.
"We have had an up and down season. We have come in for a great deal of criticism along the way, a lot of that quite rightly.
"We have not beaten a top three team all season. We have known that. We have been reminded so many times.
"The players have responded. They have known they are good enough."
Mallinder decided not to mention the Heineken Cup final misery at half-time but he was thinking it, and so were the players. Tom Wood revealed it had been a key second-half motivator.
"We talked about that at half-time, that 'we have been in this position before and let it slip so it was a huge motivation and it was on our minds," Wood said.
"We knew the next score was going to be crucial. We knew there would be a reaction and we did let them into the game a little bit.
"But we dug in. We were under enormous pressure on our line at times, our lineout defence was good, our maul defence was good and we hung in there."
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com