Difficult days have made Saints stronger

Api Ratuniyarawa says the heartache Saints experienced earlier this year has stood them in good stead for their late-season play-off push.

By Tom Vickers
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 12:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 1:01 pm
Api Ratuniyarawa
Api Ratuniyarawa

Chris Boyd's side have now picked up five successive bonus-point wins in the Gallagher Premiership, propelling them up to fourth in the standings.

They are one point ahead of Gloucester with two games to go, with Saints finishing their regular-season campaign at Saracens and at home to Newcastle Falcons.

Their current lofty league position seemed almost unthinkable back in March after the black, green and gold suffered a third last-gasp loss in a row.

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They had led late on against Exeter, Sale and Gloucester only to lose out in agonising fashion each time.

But popular Fijian lock Ratuniyarawa feels those experiences have proved beneficial in the long run.

And he said: "We have really learned from those games where we took the lead and lost, and that showed against Harlequins (when Saints won late on thanks to a James Grayson penalty).

"We stuck together, stuck to our game plan and we knew the opportunity would come.

"To get a good win was really good and we're going to keep moving and keep fighting for the top four."

Saints were up against it against Quins last time out, having lost five players to injury during the game.

But the home side showed incredible character to pick up a 32-31 win against the current English champions.

"We got an opportunity and we kicked to the corner because they had a man in the bin, but it didn't really work for us," Ratuniyarawa said.

"We just kept building and we knew another opportunity would come.

"We didn't give up, we got that opportunity and we're really happy he (Grayson) put it over.

"Closing down that kind of game was something we didn't do well earlier in the year.

"We had to believe in our DNA and our system, and to finally get the win at the end was exciting.

"It showed what this group is about. We stick together and hopefully the result will come.

"I’m full of excitement.

"To get a packed Franklin's Gardens was so important and the noise really lifted the boys.

"We just keep building and we knew our moment would come.

"The boys didn't give up, it was great spirit from everyone and it was really good to get the win.

"We knew Quins would come and play. They are the same as us because we want to play and put our game on the pitch.

"I know it was an exciting game for you guys to watch.

"Now we're training and looking forward to Saracens in our next game (on May 21)."