Saints ready to let loose
By Ben Blackmore. Last Updated: April 18, 2007 3:55pm
Heineken Cup semi-final, Northampton Saints v Wasps, Ricoh Arena, Sunday April 22, KO 3pm, Sky Sports 2
Northampton marksman Sean Lamont is hoping Saints can excel under the tag of underdogs when they meet Wasps in the Heineken Cup semi-final this weekend.
Sunday's clash provides a rematch of last week's Premiership encounter, which fell the way of Wasps in a 35-29 thriller.
Saints are still under major threat of relegation, but they have proved what they can do in a one-off game by knocking out Biarritz in the quarters, and Lamont believes they are at their most dangerous when the pressure is off.
"Obviously it's a massive game, for me it's the furthest I've ever got in the Heineken Cup and even for the boys it's a great way to put some highlights in our season," he said in an exclusive interview with skysports.com.
"A lot of people aren't expecting us to do well in the Heineken Cup so the pressure's off. Being underdogs, when we win it's a brilliant morale booster.
"When we're in the Premiership the pressure's on and the fear of failure seems to be holding us back. It's a totally different situation on Sunday, there's no threat of relegation so we can be a bit more relaxed.
"We're the underdogs - same as we were against Biarritz so hopefully we can repeat what we did to them and get a nice win."
Saints are the 'home' side this weekend, but the tie has been switched from their Franklin's Gardens home to the Ricoh Arena for extra capacity.
Lamont does not believe the move will work against his side, and he is determined that Northampton reward their fans for their unswerving support.
"Nobody here wants to lose and the fans have stuck with us through thick and thin so it would be nice to give them something to celebrate at the end of the season.
"We were massively disappointed after last week, it's the same as at Bristol as well, everyone's putting in so much effort and to come away with little or no reward is frustrating.
"We'd love to turn them over. This season we've drawn one, won one and lost one so it'd be nice to come out on top of the series at the end of the year.
"Ideally it would have been at Franklin's Gardens but the Ricoh's going to be great.
"It's just like a bigger Franklin's Gardens, all our fans will be there, the stands are right down to the edge of the pitch so it's almost like if you had grown Franklin's Gardens to twice its size.
"Our fans will create a great atmosphere and hopefully the noise can spur us to victory."