Tonga’uiha: Saints will make it third time lucky

CONFIDENT - Soane Tonga'uiha (left) believes Saints can claim major silverware at the third time of asking (picture by Linda Dawson)

CONFIDENT - Soane Tonga'uiha (left) believes Saints can claim major silverware at the third time of asking (picture by Linda Dawson)

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Soane Tonga’uiha believes the lessons learned from two major final disappointments can ensure Saints make it third time lucky.

Tonga’uiha’s last appearance for the club came last Saturday when they suffered a 37-17 Premiership final defeat to Leicester Tigers.

It was their second big showpiece in the space of two years, following on from the Heineken Cup heartbreak at the hands of Leinster in 2011.

And it meant Tonga’uiha, who is switching to French side Racing Metro this summer, was unable to claim one of European rugby’s biggest pots during his time at Franklin’s Gardens.

But the popular prop believes Saints’ recent failures will ensure they come out on top the next time they make a big final.

“I think it (Saturday’s defeat) will be good for them,” said the 31-year-old, who will be joined by fellow Saint Brian Mujati in Paris next season.

“There are a few of us that played our last game on Saturday, but the majority of the squad will still be together next season and hopefully they can learn from it and take it forward to next season.

“We said that two years ago when we got to the Heineken Cup final, but it’s two lessons now and hopefully next time they can come out with a win.”

Tonga’uiha spent seven years at Saints after joining from Bedford Blues in 2006.

But this week, ahead of his switch across the Channel, he cleared out his locker at the Gardens for the final time.

And his emotion was evident as he tweeted: “Reality of leaving Saints has finally hit me as I cleared out my locker with the help of my kids today... #emotionalmoment #sadtimes.”