FULL-BACK Alex Goode insists Saracens will not be weighed down by the pressure to build on their solitary top-flight title as they bid to be crowned Premiership champions against Bath at Twickenham tomorrow.
The north London club have just the one Premiership title to their name, won in 2011 courtesy of a 22-18 victory over Leicester, despite tomorrow being their fourth final in six seasons.
Saracens were sunk by a last-gasp try from Northampton loosehead prop Alex Waller 12 months ago, having topped the Premiership with a record points tally at the end of the regular domestic season.
Their route to the final has been a more turbulent affair this term, culminating in a final day scramble to finish fourth and last Saturday’s semi-final win at Northampton, but Goode is adamant that Saracens will not be haunted by the memories of last season’s Twickenham demise.
“It’s fair to say we’ve had some disappointments along the way, but I certainly feel the group has grown year on year and got better and better,” Goode told City A.M.
“We’ve had to do it in a slightly harder fashion this year in terms of not being out in front, but those highs and lows have probably defined us in many ways and made us stronger as a group and better in tight situations.
“Obviously last year we got to the final but couldn’t quite get over the line and ultimately we fell short. But it’s not a driving factor as such, you want to be successful as a player full stop.”
The final has been billed has an intriguing battle between contrasting philosophies, with Bath – who are without a domestic top-flight trophy since 1996 – adopting a more defined attacking style, compared to Saracens’s pragmatism and intensity.
Goode added: “We have to make sure we enact our game plan and put them under an unbelievable amount of pressure, which they have not faced before. That’s the key to beating any side.”