Sport Comment: Last season’s pain makes us want silverware more
16 May 2014 12:49am
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 saracens.com or call 0844 847 1876.
In other news
Sepp Blatter will be Fifa president for a further four years after comfortably beating Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein [Read more]
Ukip's Lord Pearson of Rannoch has asked the government to back a draw Mohammed competition. [Read more]
Network Rail and RMT bosses are once again entering talks to see if the latest set of strikes, announced yesterday, [Read more]
IMF chief Christine Lagarde said this morning that a comprehensive deal with Greece is "very unlikely... in the next few days". [Read more]
Good news multiple-gun salute fans. Next week there will be not one but two such events, marking the 62nd year [Read more]
An EasyJet flight from Luton to Tel Aviv has been forced to turn back after multiple cabin crew members reported [Read more]
A vehicle has struck a bridge it was passing under in Tulse Hill, south London, causing train cancellations and [Read more]
Shares in troubled insurance claims outsourcer Quindell fell in late morning trading after the company announced [Read more]
After a number of top Fifa officials were arrested on accusations of bribery and racketeering this week, the already [Read more]
The mother of the children who died at a Thomas Cook-approved hotel in Corfu has slammed Harriet Green's decision [Read more]
The meteoric rise in London office rents is unlikely to slow down for at least another year, the chief executive [Read more]
Andy Burnham will today admit that Labour got it wrong on business and the economy, and that the party cannot [Read more]
The German Chambers of Commerce and Industry has said it is “astonished” that the UK is considering leaving [Read more]
When it comes to creating new technologies, London is a long way behind other cities in the UK, new research has [Read more]
Four FinTech startups have won $100,000 (£65,400) backing from Citi after a search for new technology and innovation [Read more]
Property types may have been worried about the looming spectre of a mansion tax during the run-up to the General [Read more]
Corruption allegations, arrests of top officials, global outrage - in most organisations such calamities would [Read more]
Are the UK's new crop of MPs actually any good at social media? [Read more]
Donmar Warehouse | ★★★★★ [Read more]
Olivier Theatre | ★★★☆☆
Kingfisher, Europe’s biggest home improvement retailer, said it has found buyers for a quarter of its stores [Read more]
Clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch said yesterday that its business is recovering, buoyed by the strong [Read more]
Just a handful of football clubs offer fans fast smartphone connections despite growing pressure to install the [Read more]
Business services firms are seeing a boom on a scale not experienced for almost a decade, with sales volumes rocketing [Read more]