Hooker Sam Matavesi is relishing the arrival of knock-out rugby as Northampton Saints prepare to travel to Dragons for the European Challenge Cup Round of 16 this weekend.
The Fijian international made his debut for Saints on the European stage back in 2019 and now Matavesi is eyeing up the opportunity to lift his first piece of silverware in Black, Green and Gold, with Northampton heading straight into the Challenge Cup knock-out stages after the revised tournament schedule was announced.
And with Saints having taken the spoils in their last four meetings with the Newport side, Matavesi is hoping to extend that run as the team make the trip to Rodney Parade this weekend.
“I think we’d be lying if we didn’t say that it’s a massive chance for us," Matavesi said.
“In four games we could have some silverware. Anything in Europe is massive.”Sam Matavesi
“There’s a fair few guys in the side now who haven’t won a trophy with Saints and to do that as a group would be massive. We’d love to go all the way.”
The 29 year old has been enjoying an impressive run of form in recent weeks, claiming the Travis Perkins Player of the Month for February, and Matavesi is hoping to take that form into a new tournament as the side heads to Dragons.
“Playing the kind of rugby we do is definitely something I enjoy,” Matavesi continued.
“We’ve proven before against some of the best sides, the Exeters and Bristols, that we’re actually an awesome defensive side if we get it right.
"We’ve put together some massive defensive sets in recent weeks and when that gets us the ball back, I think we’re one of the best sides in the league going forwards.
“I think it’s definitely a confidence thing, you get a bit of continuity and you can play a bit more and that's what we like to do."