'Really special' - Dowson reflects on delivering Premiership glory for Saints

Saints celebrated their Premiership triumph in style (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Saints celebrated their Premiership triumph in style (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Saints celebrated their Premiership triumph in style (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Phil Dowson admits the Saints coaches were searching for ideas in the closing stages of the Gallagher Premiership final against Bath.

But the director of rugby was able to relect on a 'really special' success for his side as they became champions of England for only the second time, and the first time since 2014.

Saints had gone 15-3 up but Bath refused to relent, despite having Beno Obano sent off after just 20 minutes of the match.

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Johann van Graan's men actually went 21-18 up with 14 minutes to go, but Alex Mitchell's try after a sensational assist from George Hendy, clinched glory for Saints at Twickenham.

"It was on a knife edge with 60 minutes gone and as a coaching group, we were scratching our heads because all the momentum was Bath," Dowson said.

"Credit to a Bath side who go down to 14 men after 20 minutes and that actually galvanises their effort.

"Johann van Graan has talked all season about how good their group is - and you saw that today.

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"With 10 minutes to go, we got a little bit of magic from George Hendy and we went up a gear.

"We managed to get a bit of momentum and we managed to get some ball out of the breakdown and that just about got us over the line."

When asked how it feels to claim the Premiership title in just his second season in charge of Saints, Dowson said: "It's really special.

"It's been 10 years since we've been here and whether it's the commercial side, the playing group, the support staff, everyone has committed so hard this season and you can see that in the way we're celebrating.

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"One of the things we've spoken about is how cohesive the group is. We've had a bit of craic along the way, and hopefully that comes through in the way we want to play the game.

"Experiences like this are integral for the next group of people coming through: Henry Pollock, Archie McParland, Reuben Logan, all those lads coming through the Academy.

"The scars we've got from today with us not doing what we wanted to do will be absolutely integral for the future of the club."

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