When this season’s fixtures were announced you wouldn’t have put money on Saints coming away with a result from this.
We haven’t won at Bristol since 2018 and although they haven’t had the strongest start to this campaign you always imagine they are only one twinkly-eyed Pat Lam teamtalk from finding their mojo again.
BT Sport in their wisdom chose not to screen the game (preferring the Bath v Exeter ‘derby’) so we followed the game on Radio Northampton which is probably the best place for commentary even when the game is on telly.
Perhaps I’m just being a grumbly fan but television coverage of Saints does seem to suffer from a domination of punditry by players from the traditional ‘big’ clubs.
The best are probably Ugo Monye and Austin Healey of all people, and I am sure he’s only positive about Saints because he will see it as a good way of winding up his wider Tigers family.
What I heard on the radio which is not reflected in the highlights video from Premiership Rugby was Saints’ scrum dominance.
A win plus scrum dominance would have been even longer odds and the influence of Ludlam and Lawes returning to the pack cannot be ignored.
When Bristol scored first we stayed in touch by kicking penalties instead of kicking for the corner but Furbank, Mitchell and Freeman all combined well to put on the scores that broke Bears hearts.