Wood insists the Saints can't afford to look past Castres © Getty Images
Rugby News Wood: Castres a dangerous animal
With a European quarter final at stake, Saints back row Tom Wood says that the Saints can’t afford to take French champions Castres lightly on Friday evening –regardless of the visitors’ standing within the competition or team selection.
The men in black, green and gold head into the huge clash knowing that a bonus point win will guarantee at least an Amlin Challenge Cup quarter final, but also hoping favours elsewhere help them into the last eight of the Heineken Cup.
With that in mind, Wood says that all focus has been on their own performance and getting the all-important points on the board to give themselves a fighting chance.
“We’re going to concentrate on us,” the flanker told the official Saints Podcast.
“We don’t know what to expect from Castres as they are already out of the Heineken Cup, but whether they send a ‘Z’ team or pick all their stars, it’ll still be a side packed with internationals.
“In many ways, a second or third team can often make life more difficult in this situation, particularly in terms of our preparation and analysis. Also, those guys will be chomping at the bit to get an opportunity and put their case forward with nothing to lose.
“They can be a pretty dangerous animal so we have to make sure we concentrate on what we have to do, tidy a few bits up from last week and freshen up a bit.”
Wood also added that they will need to be firing from the start if they are to take maximum points, having left it a little too late for the try bonus in Swansea last Sunday.
“It’s always good to win away from home but we sat in the changing rooms after and rued the fact that if we had started how we had finished, we’d probably have blown them away.
“We’ve maybe struggled to have that Heineken Cup intensity at our fingertips so far this season so we have to work on picking it up from the start of games and being able to flick the switch when we really need it.”
You can help the Saints hold up their side of the deal by packing the Gardens and urging them to victory under the Friday lights. Tickets are still available to book online by CLICKING HERE, while using Print@Home will save you on fees and queueing!
Hear the full interview with Wood, as well as chats with Alan Dickens, Sam Dickinson, Luther Burrell and Steffans December prize winners Christian Day and Ross McMillan, in the official Saints Podcast this Friday afternoon. It’s FREE to download by CLICKING HERE and compatible on all devices!