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Skipper Hartley confident Saints are peaking at the right time

PERFECT TIMING - Dylan Hartley in action during Saints' win over London Irish last weekend (Picture: Linda Dawson)

PERFECT TIMING - Dylan Hartley in action during Saints' win over London Irish last weekend (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Dylan Hartley believes Saints are peaking at the right time as they bid to make the Premiership play-offs for a fourth successive season.

The skipper is now back in the England camp preparing for Sunday’s clash with Italy, after helping his club slay London Irish 40-14 at Franklin’s Gardens last weekend.

That impressive result pushed Saints back into the Premiership top four as they leapfrogged rivals Wasps and Gloucester.

And, with just five games remaining, Hartley feels his club are coming to the fore at the right time and he is remaining open-minded about what they can achieve this season.

“We’re back in the top four now, so the challenge is to keep going and build momentum until the end of the season,” he said.

“Anything’s possible, isn’t it?

“It’s not a bad time to start playing well and to start peaking.

“We’re quietly driven in that changing room and we know that not many people are giving us a chance, but we’re driven and we’re going to be okay.”

Saints’ next game is the March 23 trip to sixth-placed Wasps, a fixture which could prove key in the play-off race as the two sides are separated by just three points in the league standings.

Jim Mallinder’s men will target a win in that game ahead of matches against Leicester, London Welsh, Sale and Harlequins.

And Hartley said: “It is do or die for us, but we need to make sure we’re going to be in that top four. We need to find some games and target them.

“They’re all big games for us now because Gloucester and Wasps are playing some good rugby and are hot on our heels.”

 

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