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Can they do it?
Saints primed for attack on both domestic and European front
Posted Dec 29, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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Do Northampton Saints have what it takes to win the league and European Cup double this season? That’s a question I keep asking myself and, to be honest, I don’t appear to be any closer to an answer than I was a few months ago.
The Saints are one of the clubs to have been hurt by the weather as their game at Gloucester was called on for Sunday and they lost one more game to the conditions a few weeks ago.
This means that, after the round of fixtures over Christmas, they will have two games in hand on their rivals and this means a backlog of fixtures they have to catch up on later in the season.
And this is the area that is playing on my mind. Do they have the strength in depth to challenge for the two biggest honours if they lose a few players during a tough run of fixtures towards the back end of the 2010-2011 season?
I guess I’m asking you more than asking myself as I don’t know the answer. But one thing I do know is that, despite the setback with the recent snow and ice, they have put themselves in such a strong position now that latter on in the campaign they may be able to rest key players and risk losing a few games domestically.
So far in Europe they have proved to be one of the top clubs, sharing a 100% record with reigning champions Toulouse and no-one else. I think they will focus their attention on this competition once the quarters and semis arrive and hope that they have enough quality to continue leading the way in the Aviva Premiership.
One thing is for sure, this season is going to be a long, gruelling campaign for the boys from Northampton and it will be mind over matter into April and May.
They have to be the favourite domestically and I fancy them in Europe but they will need to have overwhelming belief in their own ability as individuals and as a team if they are to claim a majestic league and European double.