Following Saints’ frustrating last minute loss to local rivals Leicester Tigers in the last round of this season’s Aviva Premiership, Saints travel to Wasps this weekend in seventh place in the table but lie just three points away from fourth place Bath and six points behind fourth place Tigers.
Saints’ scrum-half Nic Groom says that while the team is hurting after that tough loss, having a week off to regroup and focus their attention on Wasps has helped the squad get ready for the challenge at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday.
“We were obviously very disappointed as a group,” Groom commented on this week's SaintsTV Show.
“However, I think there were a lot of positives to take away from it.
“We had a couple of days off with the European semi-finals being on so we just recharged after that weekend and building on those positives when we got back into training.
“It gave us a spring in our step coming back into this week.”
With Wasps also taking a tough defeat last weekend as they dropped out of the European Champions Cup to a strong Leinster side, Groom mentions that while a loss like that can sometimes be a stumbling block the following week, it can also be a push to come out and deliver a huge performance so Saints must be aware of Wasps’ dangers.
“We’ve been keeping a close eye on them and this last weekend gave us some good reference points. I think a loss like that tests you as a group, test the character a bit.
“That being said, for them it will be different competition so it will be easy for them to get a focus shift. But they will definitely be challenged, we certainly are challenged after the Leicester loss; we know what the consequences are going forward but with both sides losing their last games it will put pressure on us both to really deliver.
“I don’t think you can look too much into their Leinster game. Every team poses a different threat defensively and from an attacking perspective as well but when it comes to Wasps we know that they have massive attacking threats, fast runner and a real fast playing style with their key playmakers.
“For us it will be about understanding those threats but also focussing on ourselves and to make sure that we execute what we want to do. Then it will be up to them to stop it.”
With the gap to the top four now stretched to six points, Saints sit outside the automatic European Champions Cup qualification places currently though only lie three points away from fifth place Bath.
“We definitely reassessed our goals as a team after Leicester,” Groom commented.
“Finishing in the top six is obviously part of our plan going forwards. Top four might be out of our hands now but playing good rugby and getting the win, week in week out, is high on the focus list.”