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Hartley: The result is the only thing that matters

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Plenty of the discussion about Sunday's game at this week's media session centred around who the Saints would have rather had as their opponents in the semi-finals, but Hartley said that such speculation was pointless.

"It doesn't matter who we play," the Saints skipper said. "If you want to be champs you have to beat the best teams. That said, we know that we haven't achieved what we would have wanted in terms of results against the other top four sides this season, but it's not something that plays on our mind.

"The only thing that counts is the next performance and the next result, which for us means getting a win on Sunday afternoon against a good Saracens team. They've got quality players in every position and you don't finish top of the table by accident or by fluke. They've won more games than anyone else and haven't lost at Allianz Park.

"But it is about which team plays better on the day and who takes their opportunities. It doesn't matter if we win by one point or 10, the only thing that counts in a semi-final is the final result."

At least two thousand Saints fans are making the trip to Allianz Park, with the club taking seven coaches from Franklin's Gardens down the M1 to north London.

"We're looking forward to seeing the thousands of Saints supporters who will be travelling to Barnet on Sunday," Hartley added. "We've had some great support in the past few weeks, especially against Quins last weekend, and we'll need the fans again on Sunday."

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS TEAM TO PLAY SARACENS

Aviva Premiership Rugby Semi-Final

Allianz Park

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Kick off 3:00pm

15 Ben FODEN

14 Ken PISI

13 James WILSON

12 Luther BURRELL

11 Jamie ELLIOTT

10 Stephen MYLER

9 Lee DICKSON

1 Soane TONGA'UIHA

2 Dylan HARTLEY (capt)

3 Brian MUJATI

4 Courtney LAWES

5 Christian DAY

6 Calum CLARK

7 Tom WOOD

8 Samu MANOA

Replacements

16 Mike HAYWOOD

17 Alex WALLER

18 Tom MERCEY

19 Phil DOWSON

20 GJ VAN VELZE

21 Martin ROBERTS

22 Ryan LAMB