Strong reaction expected from London Irish as they travel to Saints

London Irish assistant coach Corniel van Zyl is expecting a strong reaction from his players at Franklin's Gardens on Friday night.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 1:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 1:02 pm
Agustin Creevy scored for London Irish at Bath last weekend but the away side were eliminated at The Rec
Agustin Creevy scored for London Irish at Bath last weekend but the away side were eliminated at The Rec

Like Saints, London Irish were knocked out of the Challenge Cup at the quarter-final stage last weekend.

Irish were beaten 26-13 at Bath, while Saints lost 35-27 at home to Ulster.

And now the two sides square up in a key Gallagher Premiership encounter in Northampton.

“At the beginning of the season, it’s always a goal to get to the knock-out stages of the European competition, so that was pleasing to see” said van Zyl.

“Obviously, the players and staff are disappointed after last week’s loss to Bath. However, there were a lot of learnings for us to take away from the contest.

"Hopefully we can use that experience to take us forward for the rest of the season.”

London Irish are currently sixth in the Premiership standings, one point behind Saints with seven regular-season games to go.

And van Zyl said: “The thing about this game is that we are both in the same situation. We both got knocked out of the Challenge Cup at the weekend and we sit close to each other in the table.

“For both sides, it will be about getting over the disappointments of the previous weekend’s result and getting on with the next job at hand.

"At the end of the day, this could be the difference between the two teams.

“The best way to judge the reaction of the squad is in training. On Monday, we had a good training session.

“Sometimes, if the horse throws you off, the best way is to just get right back on it and go again.

"The beauty of the Friday night game is that it is a short week, and we get to get stuck into another contest.

“The squad are re-energised and ready to go.”