Spring in the step but work to do as Saints get set for quarter-final clash

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Lewis Ludlam says there was 'a real buzz' around Saints last weekend.

But the club captain insists there is still much to work on ahead of Saturday night's Investec Champions Cup quarter-final clash with Vodacom Bulls.

Saints will host the South African giants having seen off Munster in the last-16 clash at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens last Sunday.

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It was a determined display from the black, green and gold as they grabbed a 24-14 win built on defensive defiance and iced with some tidy tries.

Lewis Ludlam (picture: Ketan Shah)Lewis Ludlam (picture: Ketan Shah)
Lewis Ludlam (picture: Ketan Shah)

And Ludlam said: "It was a special day.

"We weren't 100 per cent happy with the performance, which shows what the standard of this squad is at the moment.

"We didn't quite get our breakdown right but in terms of playing at home, the boys are getting real enjoyment out of that.

"The travelling fans and our fans were great and it was a really enjoyable game to play in.

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"Our fans mean a massive amount to us and this squad has always got a buzz from playing in front of our crowd.

"It's no problem getting yourself up for these games.

"It's European rugby, we want to do well for our fans and play a brand of rugby that's exciting and wins games.

"I'm immensely proud of the boys but there's heaps to work on this week."

Ludlam added: "We've had a real buzz around us.

"Munster are a really gritty side and we managed to stop them scoring two or three times early on, which gave us a massive amount of energy that carried us through for the rest of the game.

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"If we can turn up like that emotionally then teams are going to have a tough time beating us so it's about bringing that side out of ourselves every single week.

"We're happy with the result but there's lots to work on in terms of performance."

The battle with Munster was a brutal encounter.

And Ludlam said: "It's the closest to Test rugby you're going to get, with little moments having a big impact and it being a constant fight all the way through for 80 minutes.

"There's not a time during the game where you feel it's won.

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"There are massive swings of momentum and it's proper rugby, that."

Next up for Saints is a battle with a Bulls side who cruised to a 59-19 win against Lyon at Loftus Versfeld last Saturday.

"They're a fantastic side and they're coming here with heaps of energy and heaps of physicality," Ludlam said.

"We've got to come straight back at it with the mindset to fly into those boys so it's exciting."

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