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Preview: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Preview: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

It will be top against bottom this weekend in the Aviva Premiership but Northampton Saints prop Salesi Ma’afu insists they will not be underestimating Worcester Warriors.

Dean Ryan’s troops are still searching for their first win of the league season with 13 fixtures now played and head to Franklin’s Gardens this Saturday to take on a Saints side that are on fire.

The Saints have won their last nine contests in all tournaments and have not been defeated at home in the Premiership since Leicester were the visitors on 20 March 2013.

The Warriors meanwhile have lost their last 22 away games in the Premiership equalling Rotherham's all time record from 2000 to 2004 but the stats mean nothing to Wallaby prop Ma’afu ahead of the clash.

“We have looked at Worcester and showed them a lot of respect in our preparation,” he said.

“They played really well against Leicester and they have nothing to lose coming to our place.

“They are desperate and that makes them very dangerous, they will come and have a go all over the park.

“They have some very good players and we know that we will need to get on top of them early on.

“If we can get on top then hopefully we can keep them down and dominate the game.”

The Warriors came the closest to opening their win account last Friday in a heartbreaking defeat to Leicester Tigers.

But despite coming out on the wrong end of a 23-22 result, winger Josh Drauniniu insists the Warriors are not far from igniting their season.

“It is two big teams that we are playing back to back, last years winners and now the team that are currently top of the table, we love to have that challenge,” said the 28-year-old.

“At this point it does not matter if we are playing against the team at the top of the table or the team at the bottom, we have to make sure we put in a good performance.

“We have been talking about the fact that we need to make a big start and make sure that we are not playing catch up.

“They are a hard team and it is always a hard place to go but we are just looking for that one win to ignite our season.

“If we do win our confidence will grow but we have to just take it as it comes, whether we win or not, I am not too sure, we have to just try our hardest.” 

Franklin's Gardens (3pm)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (131st Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick & Andy Watson. TMO: Trevor Fisher.

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