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SAINTS 29 WASPS 6 Tuala enjoys first Franklin’s Gardens experience

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The Samoan was certainly in the action early doors, sending a 60-metre clearance kick with his first touch of the game. And there was more to come, as he squeezed in at the corner to get his new team on the score board, making the most of Tom Stephenson’s swerve and timely pass.

And it was the welcome he got and the passion generated by the capacity Franklin’s Gardens crowd that also made a mark, not least in the periods when the team was defending on its goal line to hold Wasps out repeatedly.

“The atmosphere was awesome,” Tuala told SaintsTV. “The crowd was great, nice and loud, and more passionate than back home.

“It really helps you out in the tough times, when you’re on the goal line and your team needs someone to pick them up. That’s when the crowd picks you up.”

Tuala’s try was the first of four scored by the Saints, Phil Dowson, Jamie Elliott and Kahn Fotuali’i scoring in the minutes either side of half-time.

With Leicester beating Saints’ Pool 2 rivals Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park, the bonus point win over Wasps secured the hosts’ fourth LV= Cup semi-final in six seasons.

And while Tuala admitted that he didn’t know much about the LV= Cup before he arrived in the UK he said he was proud to help his new team mates to the knockout stages.

“I don’t know much about the LV= Cup, to be honest!” he added. “But I’m stoked to help us get the win and to get us into the semi-finals.”

Saints return to the Aviva Premiership on Friday night, hosting London Irish at Franklin’s Gardens. Tickets remain on sale throughout the weekend, so head to www.tinyurl.com/SAI-IRI-1415 to book online, using [email protected] to save the admin fees and beat the match day queues.

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