Hartley: Saints can’t afford to worry about making quarter-finals

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Dylan Hartley has urged Saints to forget about claiming a bonus-point win at Ospreys on Sunday.

Instead, he is eager for them to adopt the same approach as they took to facing Leinster in Dublin last month, focusing on the performance rather than the result.

HART WARNING - captain Dylan Hartley wants Saints to forget about the implications of their game at Ospreys (Picture: Linda Dawson)

HART WARNING - captain Dylan Hartley wants Saints to forget about the implications of their game at Ospreys (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Saints claimed a stunning 18-9 win at the Aviva Stadium to keep their Heineken Cup hopes alive.

They sit four points behind leaders Leinster going into round five, knowing they will need a favour from either Castres or Ospreys to progress to the quarter-finals.

But Hartley says he and his team-mates cannot afford to think about making the quarter-finals and insists they must only worry about events at the Liberty Stadium this weekend.

“There’s a lot of people speaking about ‘you need five points, Leinster need to lose to Castres to keep you alive’ but you can forget all that,” said the captain.

“If we want to progress in the tournament all we have to worry about is performing and winning.

“If we perform well, we might get the bonus point, but that takes care of itself. We’ll just focus on the performance and, hopefully, win.”

Ospreys, who, with just five points to their name, are out of the running, gave a good account of themselves at Franklin’s Gardens in October.

Saints sealed a 27-16 victory on that occasion, but Steve Tandy’s side didn’t go down without a fight and Hartley knows it will be no different on Sunday.

“When they came here, they showed what they’ve got,” he said.

“We played quite well that day and maybe they feel they didn’t play to their strengths and didn’t quite get what they wanted out of the game.

“They’ll obviously be tough on home soil.

“There’s no pressure on them, like us, when we went to Leinster. No one expected us to win and we pulled out one of the performances of the season so it’s very dangerous.”