On the case... Jeremy Casey takes a look back at the sporting weekend

A great result for the Cobblers on Saturday as they saw off Cambridge United on a wet and windy afternoon at the PTS Academy Stadium.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 12:11 pm
The England players face up to the Haka ahead of Saturday's World Cup semi-final

It was Town's third straight 2-0 win in the space of just eight days, a run that has fired keith Curle's men up to withing one place of the promotion play-offs, and just four points shy of the top three.

The mood among the supporters is a little different now to how it was a couple of weeks ago in the wake of the 3-0 defeat at Scunthorpe United, and shows how quickly things can change in football.

In the wake of that defeat at Glanford Park, I was going to write a piece saying that everybody has to stay calm and be patient, that the club can't just keep up the cycle of hiring and firing managers, and signing a new squad every 12 months, but decided against it.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Saints ace Courtney Lawes celebrates England's World Cup semi-final win

Instead, I thought I would hold fire to see how results went.

Thankfully, results have gone pretty well, the pressure has eased, the mood has brightened.

As a journalist, it's always easier to write about teams when the mood is positive and things are going well - and long may that continue!

Talking of teams going well, it was another excellent weekend for the Saints as well, as they made it two Gallagher Premiership wins out of two with a hard-fought win over Worcester Warriors.

The Cobblers claimed a third straight win at the weekend

If the weather was grim for football at the PTS, it would have been even worse for the players down the road at a drenched Franklin's Gardens, but Chris Boyd's men recovered from a misfiring first-half to claim a bonus point win and go top of the embryonic league table.

It was an excellent win, and made even better when the club pointed out after the game, via Twitter, that 15 of the match day 23 on Saturday had come through the club's academy.

That is a special achievement.

It is testament to all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes on the development side of the club over the past 10 or 15 years, and is also a feather in the cap of coach Boyd, who has recognised the young talent he has at his disposal, and trusted them to deliver.

Saints beat Worcester at the weekend

They have certainly done that so far, and it all means the future is looking very bright in St James' End.

Talking of Saints academy products, it will be a proud day for the club and the town as a whole when Courtney Lawes lines up for England in the World Cup Final against South Africa on Saturday.

The homegrown talent did Northampton proud as he produced a towering performance in England's demolition of the New Zealand All Blacks at the weekend.

Eddie Jones has had his critics over the years, but his team were phenomenal and really should have won far more convincingly than they did.

The final score read 19-7, but the All Blacks were lucky to get that close.

I am no rugby expert, but I can't imagine there have been many games when New Zealand have not been allowed to create a single scoring opportunity.

They were gifted their try by an England mistake, but aside from that they never looked like scoring.

It was a near perfect performance from England, and is hopefully one they, and our own Courtney Lawes, can repeat against the Springboks this weekend.

Sticking with the World Cup semi-final, I thought England's reaction to the All Blacks' pre-match Haka was superb.

England lined up in a V formation to stare down the New Zealanders as they set out their traditional pre-match challenge, and it was highly effective.

In that moment they looked confident and in total control of their emotions, and were letting their opposition know they were ready for whatever the All Blacks were going to throw at them.

And they went on to prove it!

It was another weekend of VAR chaos in the Premier League, and it really is becoming an embarrassment for all concerned.

It is getting to the stage where I think it should just be scrapped until a proper protocol is put in place for all officials, both the at the game and the ones in their Stockley Park bunker, and they know what they should be doing.

At the moment, the system is all over the place.

Talking of embarrassment, the Southampton players involved in their 9-0 battering at the hands of Leicester City on Friday night should still be hanging their heads in shame.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing at the St Mary's Stadium, and the performance of the Saints was more Sunday League than Premier League.

No Premier League team should be conceding nine goals in any game, regardless of playing with 10 men for a large chunk of proceedings.

Fair play to Leicester for their hunger and desire to keep going and keep on trying to score, but the performance of the Southampton players was a disgrace.