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Harrison: We need to play with intensity for the full 80 minutes

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

After last weekend’s disappointing loss at home to Leinster in the third round of the European Champions Cup, Saints travel to the Aviva Stadium for the return fixture with their Irish counterparts in Pool 4.

Starting in the back row tomorrow, alongside Calum Clark and Jamie Gibson, Teimana Harrison said that Saints are hoping to provide a reaction to last weekend’s defeat and are taking inspiration from the events of 2013, when Saints lost to Leinster at home and then travelled to Ireland to win in the same rounds of the competition as they face the Leinstermen this year.

“The supporters want a reaction and hopefully we can give that to them,” Harrison commented to SaintsTV on this week’s Saints Show.

“We’ll obviously be taking inspiration from three years ago when we got thrashed at home and then turned it around and went to beat them at their place.

“The mood is good and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Despite not playing in the fixture three years ago, Harrison says that there are many similarities between the week building up to the trip to Dublin then and this week’s training.

The back rower also said that while they have to address the issues of last weekend’s defeat, it’s important for the players to stay positive if they are to have a chance of beating their hosts tomorrow.

“I remember training being similar to how it was this week: very intense, very direct and what we needed to do. And that’s what we’ve been doing this week.

“It think it’s massive that we stay positive. If you let yourself get down, then you’ve lost the game before you’ve even played.

“So we’ve got to keep positive and take the positives out of the game last week however small they may be and keep working with them. We have to make sure physically and mentally that we’re right.”

Harrison said that Saints must make an impact from the kick off and keep their intensity up throughout the whole 80 minutes if they are to challenge Leinster and push them to their limits.

“I think the way that we start is important. We need to put pressure on them rather than be pressured.

“And at the finish, well, we just need to finish well. I don’t think the finish was very good from us last weekend; we conceded about 20 points and that’s been a massive thing to work on for us.

“Just playing with high intensity through the whole game will be something we’re really trying to do.”

With discipline harming Saints’ game of late, Harrison said that the side must work hard to keep within the laws of the game and keep every player on the pitch to be in with a chance of a win tomorrow.

“Discipline is going to be so important this weekend. Over the last three games we’ve lost four guys to the bin, and two of those being red, so if we can keep everybody on the field it’ll put us in good stead to win the game.”