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Can Saints Beat Leinster in Cardiff?
Millenium Stadium braced for Heineken Cup showdown
Posted May 12, 2011 by Chris White
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With Leinster the hot favourites to win this year's Heineken Cup at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff later this month, are Northampton actually able to pull off a surprise victory?
The Irish side won the competition back in 2009 and are full of experience and international quality, but Saints have won the competition before also, and have got themselves this far, why can't they keep going? As the underdogs in this final, they have nothing to lose.
This final could all be decided in the packs. Both sides are powerful and quick and play a direct style so it could be won and lost in the scrum.
Saints definitely have quality outside the pack, with Chris Ashton and Ben Foden in their side, but overall Leinster are rightly favourites. But Leinster have quality throughout their side and will be relying on the likes of O'Brien, Sexton, O'Driscoll. Nacewa and Horgan to give them the upper hand.
Northampton are certainly capable of winning the final, after all, it is a cup final at the end of the day and anything can happen, but they face a mammoth task against what is a great Leinster side.
If Leinster underestimate Saints, however, they do so at their peril. The Irish side have come out on top in the previous two meetings between the sides, but Northampton are in the final on the strength and quality of their performances so far in the tournament and can definitely spring a surprise or two if the ball bounces their way in Cardiff on 21 May.