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Preview: Northampton Saints v London Wasps

Preview: Northampton Saints v London Wasps

Northampton Saints winger Ken Pisi admits he and his teammates will have to find a way of silencing Christian Wade and Tom Varndell if they are to make it five wins out of five against London Wasps in front of live ESPN cameras on Friday night.

Last time out in the Aviva Premiership against Worcester Warriors Saints showed their attacking ability in a fantastic first hour where they raced into a 37-3 lead.

However in the final quarter of an hour the Warriors ran in four tries to eventually go down 37-31 and Pisi knows that Saints will need to be tighter against Wasps’ pair of quick men who have racked up seven tries between them this season.

Pisi said: “Wasps have got some really dangerous wingers with Christian Wade and Tom Varndell so we will need to be really careful with them.

“We need to make sure we stick to our game and our structures to try to keep them at bay. You can’t afford to give them any space out wide because we have already seen how dangerous they can be when they get a bit of space.

“Our attack has been pretty good recently though so we can take a lot of confidence from that and try to push on from there.”

Wasps have won just once in their last eight matches in all competitions – a 43-14 win over London Irish earlier this season – while Saints have only been beaten once at home in the last 12 months.

However despite that record and Saints’ struggles at the end of their game against Worcester, scrum-half Joe Simpson insists Wasps have to make a quick start at Franklin’s Gardens.

He said: “We don’t take heart from the fact that Northampton have let a few teams back into it late on recently because we don’t want to find ourselves in that position in the first place.

“We go there knowing that if we go one or two tries down early, we will lose the game so we’ve been working on being up for it and ready from the word go.

“We’ve finished off matches well recently and so we know we need to add a good start to that.

“We know that we will need to put in an 80-minute performance if we’re going to be in with a chance to win it with 20 minutes to go.

“But as we’ve shown so far this season, we’ve got plenty of firepower to trouble them as well provided we can keep things tight early on.

“We’re expecting a very tough, abrasive game at Northampton like it always is. We’ve picked up bonus points on the road, now we want to turn that into victories.”

Referee: Dave Pearson (169th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe, Paul Dix. TMO: Trevor Fisher.

(Franklin’s Gardens, 7.45pm) Live on ESPN HD

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