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Scott-Young: Saints ready to ‘rip in’ and show character this Friday

We sat down with Northampton Saints flanker Angus Scott-Young ahead of this Friday’s crucial Gallagher Premiership fixture against Bath Rugby at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens…

Q: We don’t want to dwell on it too much, but what are your reflections of last Friday’s defeat at Bristol Bears? 
ASY: To be honest, we just stripped it back at the start of this week, took the emotion out of it and tried to analyse and learn lessons from it. We did a good job with that on Monday and Tuesday, we banked it and we just moved on. We’re looking forward to the next game on Friday. 

Q: Are the players all desperate to get back on the pitch again after a game like that? 
ASY: We definitely will have a lot of motivation on Friday night after that result. I think everyone is a bit emotionally charged, and I’m sure you’ll see that, but what we mostly took out of that loss was that we just went away from our process a bit. We got a bit emotional and probably a bit shocked because they did score some pretty crazy tries early. We just got a bit frantic and that led to us deviating from our plan, but I think now we’re in a good state. We’ve done our analysis, we’ve flushed it and we’re just keen to rip in. 

Q: With Lewis Ludlam and Courtney Lawes away with England, you’ve have some more responsibility placed on you. How much have you embraced that? 
ASY: It’s been good. I’ve been loving my time here at Franklin’s Gardens and I’ve got somewhat of a leadership role here already, which is awesome, but when I spoke to Saints before I came here, they wanted me to build up those leadership skills. I was a leader back at Queensland so my transition here has been easy in that respect and the boys here are easy to communicate with. With Courts and Luds both involved with England, we’ve had other guys step up, as it should be, like Sam Graham, who’s pretty vocal, Dingers [Fraser Dingwall] is obviously the captain at the moment and he’s very vocal as well. Certain guys have had to stand up and I think that’s a good thing because it shows the depth of leadership we have in our team. It tests people and gives new opportunities for them, so it’s exciting and I think we’re trending in the right direction.

Q: It’s Fraser Dingwall’s 100th appearance for Saints on Friday night against Bath, what has it been like playing under him? 
ASY: He’s a very good leader. Whenever he speaks, it’s very obvious he’s speaking from the heart. He’s so authentic in himself, I would say, and he just speaks his mind. He leads the boys with his actions on and off the field, he is an ultimate professional and a great rugby player. Flash back to the Sale game, where he scores the winning try over in the corner and in my head I was like ‘of course it’s him’. He’s the hardest worker, so diligent and so calm, so I’m glad he got that opportunity to captain in the past few weeks because it’s been good for his growth. You look at his career, he’s at 100 games already and he’s still pretty young. His trajectory is definitely on the up, so we’ll definitely try and mark the occasion with a win. 

Q: How have you found your own form? 
ASY: I found it pretty tough during the winter months because obviously it’s cold and dark and we weren’t performing as well as we could have, especially in the European games, so that was tough. But we’ve stuck with it and for the past five or six games I’ve been really enjoying myself on the field. I think that’s reflected in how I’ve been playing; I’ve been getting involved in running, tackling, lineouts, breakdowns, a bit of everything. I’m just really enjoying it and ultimately I’ve sort of found that passion once again for the game, and I just go out there and play. If you’re happy with what you did with your performance and you come off exhausted after every game, in a good way, that tells you you’ve been enjoying it and I’m looking forward to hopefully putting another good performance out on Friday. 

Q: What differences have you found between playing rugby in England and Australia? 
ASY: Playing here has been vastly different from my experiences playing in Australia. It’s always sunny back home and here you come to work when it’s dark and leave when it’s dark and the games are freezing – but it’s just a different environment and the games here are incredible. You look at how tight the competition is, that any team can realistically beat any other team, and those are the competitions you want to play in. You don’t want to be in a competition where there’s sort of a stratosphere above, where teams are just getting flogged every week. You want to test yourself against the best and that’s what I came over here to do. The Premiership speaks for itself, with some of the crazy performances where you’re on top of the world one week then getting beaten by Bristol the next. That’s just the ebb and flow of the Premiership at the moment, but I think we’ve shown a lot of character throughout the season. We’ve had a lot of challenges, but we’ve bounced back and we had a really good couple of games [against Sale Sharks and Gloucester] prior to the Bristol game. We still haven’t lost sight to that part of us and we want to get back to that formula, and I’m confident that we will. 

Q: Is Friday night’s game against Bath, who are currently bottom of the Premiership, an example of how Saints can take no-one lightly? 
ASY: They’re a bloody good team; the last time we played them, they beat us in Bath so you’ve got to be wary of their strengths and weaknesses. Like I said, the competition is so tight and every team has star players, so you’ve got to be on it for every single game every week, and that’s the challenge for us. We obviously know their threats – they’re a maul-heavy team, we’re well aware of that as forwards, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. 

Q: How much are you looking forward to playing under the Friday night lights at the Gardens again? 
ASY: The last time we did [against Exeter] it was an awesome game. It was such a grind and that sort of typified English rugby for me as there were a lot of box kicks, a lot of running and hitting brick walls. I really enjoyed it, it was really physical, so if it’s like that again against Bath, I’ll enjoy it again. I do like the night games, even though the weather’s pretty cold. They’re a different challenge and obviously a longer game day in terms of waiting around, but I don’t mind them, I’m looking forward to it.

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