PREMIERSHIP FINAL PREVIEW: LEICESTER V SARACENS, TOMORROW 3PM, ESPN
TOMORROW’S match is a worthy final that brings together England’s two best sides, but also promises to be an intriguing battle of styles and a fascinating contest between the fly-halves.
Saracens might feel it’s an opportunity to avenge their loss in last year’s final. Psychologically Leicester will be helped by the knowledge they can win the big games. They have won so many finals, won in the last moments last year, and finished top this year. But then Saracens have won the last two meetings and also know how to win tight games. Personally I think there’s nothing between them.
It will be very interesting to see whose style prevails. Saracens have done very well concentrating on a strong defence. Leicester have traditionally been very good in that department but maybe their focus has shifted a bit more to attack as the game’s laws have changed.
I’m looking forward to seeing how well the packs go against each other. Leicester have always been successful because they concentrate on a very powerful pack and have strength in depth. Saracens are extremely well rehearsed, well coached, and know what each other are doing, while Matt Stevens has come on leaps and bounds.
I think the biggest contest will be at No10: England’s fly-half, Toby Flood, against a youngster coming through in Owen Farrell. In my view, whoever controls the game best will win. Farrell has shown tremendous vision to pin teams back and allow Saracens to defend very well. Toby Flood on the other hand has a bit more attacking ability but his kicking is good as well.
Owen’s going to have to kick his goals this time. He struggled against Gloucester in the semi-final but will need to be on song for Saracens to have a chance. Toby Flood has proven he’s reliable under pressure.
I don’t expect anything like the drama of the Heineken Cup final, but I wouldn’t be surprised if last year’s tight final was a forerunner for this one. I can see it being drawn at the end of extra-time and going down to a place-kicking bonanza.
Kyran Bracken was speaking courtesy of GamePlan Solutions: Managing high profile and popular sport stars; Speakers, Leaders, Motivators, Ambassadors www.gameplansolutions.co.uk