Sport Comment: Last season’s pain makes us want silverware more

SARACENS have already reached one final and tomorrow we hope to book our place in another, but none of it will count for much unless we finish the season with a trophy or two this time.

If ever we needed a reminder not to get carried away then we only have to remember last season, when we finished empty handed despite reaching the Premiership and Heineken Cup semi-finals.

But we go into another clash with Harlequins feeling confident and playing really well, as we showed in our last European match, the 46-6 defeat of Clermont Auvergne.

It was a near-perfect performance and if you’d offered me that scoreline before the game I’d have bitten your hand off. Clermont have long been among Europe’s best teams so the result was a dream come true.

It feels like we’ve hit form at the right time and, though a first European title is just one win away, we don’t have any difficulty at all switching our attention back to domestic fixtures. I haven’t heard anyone at Saracens so much as mention the Heineken Cup final.

In recent years our coaches have tried novel ways to make team-talks memorable, such as bringing in live wolves, but there has been nothing of that sort during this run of big games. My view is that if you need people – or animals – motivating you for a semi-final then there’s probably something wrong with you.

Having come this far we’d be very disappointed to finish the season without some silverware – we want to win trophies and make no bones about that. So far we have put ourselves in a great position. Over the next two weekends we hope to put ourselves in an even better one.

Alex Goode plays for Saracens and England. To buy tickets for Saracens v Toulon in the Heineken Cup final visit or call 0844 847 1876.