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Tuala: It really is up to us now

Posted on February 28 2017

After two tough losses on the road, to Bath and Newcastle Falcons respectively, Saints returned to Franklin’s Gardens yesterday where they fought hard against a testing Worcester Warriors side to earn a much-needed win.

Now having propelled themselves into sixth place, yesterday’s Man-of-the-Match Ahsee Tuala says Saints are happy with the win but know that there is much to work on ahead of a trip to Sale next Friday night.  

“There were a few things that we were pleased with but obviously we’ve got stuff to work on,” Tuala told SaintsTV after yesterday’s win.

“It was a lot better performance that last weekend and we’re just grateful to get the win and stamp our mark on our home turf.”

Worcester, first to score, brought a lot of fight and attack to Saints and made them work hard for every metre gained. Tuala said that their guests proved a tough test but that Saints stuck together to see out the win.

“We did a lot of analysis of Worcester before the game. With their kick chase, we knew we had to be patient and keep playing the aerial game with them. Then when the chances opened up maybe four or five kicks down, then we’d have a chance and an opportunity to attack.

 “We needed to make our one on one tackles and stay in our system. We couldn’t have any guys shooting out so it was important that we just stuck together as a team.”

Speaking about his recent spell at full-back with Ben Foden moving out to the wing, Tuala said that it was refreshing to work with Foden and that it was helping them both to improve as they fought it out for the shirt.

“It’s really pushed both of us to work harder and try to earn that spot whether it’s at fifteen or on the wing.

“I don’t really have a preference where I play, I just think there’s a lot of positive play between Fodes and I at the moment and we’re really working hard on pushing each other for that 15 or 11 spot as well.”

Looking ahead to the challenge of Sale Sharks next Friday night, Tuala said the hosts will prove a tough test and that Saints must prepare well if they are to win and keep pushing for a top six finish.

“Sale are playing really well at the moment. Obviously with the win here, we’re wanting to keep the momentum and we’re sitting in sixth now so we’re just trying to stay up there and use this as a good opportunity to keep pushing.  

“We know that Sale have a strong team. Obviously their backline’s got some strong carriers with their outside backs especially so we’ve just got to try to contain them out wide.

“The goal for us now is to try to win the rest of our games for the season and put ourselves in the position where we could still challenge for maybe top four but definitely top six. It really is up to us now in the next couple of weeks.

“It can be frustrating at times but it’s really important for us to stick together as a squad. We got the win which is important for us and we know we’ve got things to improve on. Sale is going to be a tough task over at their place so it’s a good opportunity to test ourselves.”

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