Saints skipper Ludlam quick to switch focus ahead of huge Saracens showdown

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Lewis Ludlam wasted little time in turning Saints' attention to what lies in wait on May 31 following last Saturday's 43-12 loss at Bath.

Ludlam skippered the black, green and gold in the disappointing final-day defeat at The Rec.

But ultimately it mattered not for Saints as they still finished top of the regular-season standings thanks to Saracens' defeat to Sale Sharks.

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Now they must take on Saracens, the reigning champions, in the Gallagher Premiership play-off semi-final at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens next Friday.

Lewis Ludlam rallied the troops after Saints' defeat at Bath (photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)Lewis Ludlam rallied the troops after Saints' defeat at Bath (photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Lewis Ludlam rallied the troops after Saints' defeat at Bath (photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

And Ludlam said: "You want to play the best teams.

"They're a brilliant team with heaps of internationals, but that's why you play the game.

"The fact we get to play at home on a Friday night is brilliant for us and something we're going to get heaps of energy from.

"All roads lead to that and everything we do over the next two weeks has got to lead to a result in that game."

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On the defeat at Bath, Ludlam said: "No one likes losing and we probably didn't put our game on the park as much as we should have.

"At this point in the season and with the way things have gone, every team will be desperate, and we didn't deal with that well enough.

"We lacked a little bit of press in our defence, a little bit of speed in our breakdown, and fine margins like that mean all of a sudden the game is away from you.

"We made it hard for ourselves.

"But the good thing is that we've got a home semi-final and there's heaps to get excited about.

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"We need to learn our lessons pretty quickly but there's heaps to look forward to now."

Saints made 13 changes to their team to face Bath, giving many of their first-choice regulars the weekend off.

"A lot of lads coming in hadn't played a lot and unfortunately we couldn't lead the way well enough for them," Ludlam said.

"We couldn't really get a foothold in the game because of penalties and not keeping hold of the ball.

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"We didn't really get any tempo into our game so it's disappointing.

"You never like to lose a game.

"It's a brilliant place to play rugby and we would have loved to go and get a win down there."

As for Ludlam, he recently returned from a shoulder injury sustained in the defeat to Harlequins last month.

And when asked how he was after the Bath game, he said: "Physically fine.

"We've got to be in this week with the attitude to get better. We've got to get bodies right to give us the chance to fly into the semi-final.”

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