Tonga’uiha urges Saints pack to provide platform for Twickenham glory

TIGERS TEST - Soane Tonga'uiha is readying himself for a huge forward battle in Saturday's Premiership grand final (picture by Linda Dawson)

TIGERS TEST - Soane Tonga'uiha is readying himself for a huge forward battle in Saturday's Premiership grand final (picture by Linda Dawson)

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Soane Tonga’uiha says Saints’ forwards will face a ‘huge task’ to get the better of their Leicester Tigers’ counterparts this weekend.

But the Tongan prop is confident he and his fellow Northampton titans can lay the foundations for Twickenham glory.

Saints dominated Saracens in the set piece as they claimed a 27-13 win in the play-off semi-final at Allianz Park.

And they know their big men will have to be at their best once again to tame the Tigers, who were comfortable 36-8 winners when the sides last met, at Franklin’s Gardens in March.

“Speaking on behalf of Dorian West, it will be in the forwards,” said Tonga’uiha, when asked where Saturday’s grand final will be won and lost.

“Jim and the other boys would say the backs but I think Westy has driven it into me that if you do your primary job, whether it be mauling or scrummaging, things will go your way.

“As long as you’re going forward momentum carries through and it’s going to be a huge, huge task for the forwards.

“If we were to be on the money on that day, hopefully the backs could go on and finish the job for us.”

The game against Leicester in March was the nadir of Saints’ season as Tigers ran riot to claim a seventh successive east midlands derby win.

Tonga’uiha knows his team will have to go some to turn the tables this time round, but he is hopeful the showpiece occasion will inspire a massive performance.

“That day Leicester came and played really well,” he said. “We weren’t on the money and when you play against a team like Leicester you can’t give them an inch because they just rip you to pieces.

“Fortunately for them that day we weren’t at our best and they were at theirs. I’d like to think that this week, being a final, it wouldn’t be the same.”