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Only victory will do against Saracens
9:30am Thursday 1st May 2014 in Sport
EVERY week recently I have been saying that the next game is the biggest one of our season, but this week certainly is.
If we lose our fate is decided, so we are under pressure to get the right result, but we are all looking forward to the match and we are in a good place going in to it.
I think what Saracens did against Clermont Auvergne with a 46-6 win in their Heineken Cup semi-final at the weekend was incredibly special.
I have played against Clermont in the past and I know what a quality side they are with a really big pack.
So, for Saracens to destroy a team like that in the manner they did says a lot about the team Sarries have.
The Premiership is a very tough division, but Saracens are a stand-out team in being recent winners and we know how difficult it will be.
But, I know from my experience that when you play a massive game like that, whether it is at international level or at the quarter or semi-final stage of the Heineken Cup, there is a lot of emotion involved and they will have been on a massive high in the week building up.
In reality, they probably won’t be at the same level going into this weekend’s game, so we need to understand the dynamics of that and use it to our advantage.
They have other priorities this season and this match won’t be the biggest won they have coming up in the next four or five weeks.
At the same time, they have such a quality squad and if they do make changes, you can look at it as a positive for us, but they have such strength-in-depth that it doesn’t change them that much.
They will still play the same way, will have quality players to come in and can do the job, which has been the case in previous games when they have made changes.
It won’t make much difference to them, but it is all about us preparing in the right way.
Chris Pennell has been nominated for the Aviva Premiership player-of-the-season award and it is amazing for him to pick up that sort of recognition.
We all know as players, coaches and fans what a quality player he is and how special he has been for us this year in a team that has ultimately been losing.
The great thing for him is to pick up recognition from outside of the group. Sometimes you can go un-noticed in a team losing at the bottom of the league, but people have seen how well he has been playing.
It’s great for him and I just hope he can go on to bigger and better things on the international stage with England.
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