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Dylan Hartley says Northampton can become first team to beat Saracens at Allianz Park

Last Updated: 12/05/13 2:13pm

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Dylan Hartley: Fourth time lucky

Dylan Hartley: Fourth time lucky

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Captain Dylan Hartley is hoping it will be fourth time lucky for Northampton in Sunday's Aviva Premier semi-final at Saracens.

Saints have reached the same stage in each of the last three seasons, but they have yet to reach the Grand Final.

Sunday will see them face Sarries, who finished the regular season on top of the table, on the artificial pitch at Allianz Park.

And Hartley says they must not let all their hard work this season go to waste.

"If we don't win this weekend it's all over and we've got another season where we've ground it out, we've made top four," he told the Northampton Chronicle.

"I suppose we're under the radar. No one's really counted us as champs, but we believe we can do it and we're two games away from it."
Dylan Hartley

"Especially this season. Other years we've had a good run, but this time we've had to really work for it and it would be a shame to see all that hard work go down the drain again.

"I suppose we're under the radar. No one's really counted us as champs, but we believe we can do it and we're two games away from it."

Saracens have won six out of six at home since moving to their new home but Hartley dismissed the significance of the artificial pitch.

"It's just another surface," he said. "I remember playing at Worcester this year in mud and sand. It's just another different surface so I'm not really looking into that too much.

"It takes a stud like the grass would and speaking to other players who've played on it, if you win the hit, you're more than likely going to win the scrum there so there's been a lot of focus on gaining ascendancy there this week."

"I'm desperate," said Hartley. "Four years now and you think about some boys coming to the end of an era in a Saints shirt and we want to send them off with a big smile on their face and a trophy."

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