This will be our 24th visit to the RFU's headquarters for a final, winning slightly under half visits with 11 wins and 12 losses so far. We've played Premiership Finals, Knock Out Cup Finals, Anglo-Welsh Finals, an Heineken Cup Final, a "Championship Final" and a Wildcard Final at Twickenham rather guttingly it seems the only competition we will fail to win at the Cabbage Patch will be the greatest of them all, unless the Heineken Cup gets an 11th hour reprieve.
36 players have scored 52 tries for the Tigers in those various finals with club legends Neil Back and Leon Lloyd jointly holding the individual record for 4 tries. It is fitting that the two scorers from the Paris final hold that record. Not that I'd be complaining at a Ben Youngs hat trick come the 25th!
Tigers remarkable recent consistency in reaching finals is reflected by Andy Goode being head and shoulders above his nearest rival as Top Points scorer. Goode slotted 80 points (1 try, 1 drop goal, 9 conversions, 18 penalties) in 10 games compared to Dusty Hare's 49 in 5 (1 try (worth 4 points then), 2 drop goals, 11 penalties, 3 conversions). Toby Flood has scored 36 points (10 penalties, 3 conversions) in 2 games and needs another 7 to overtake Tim Stimpson in third place, Flood has missed 4 finals in his short time at the club already otherwise he would be pushing Goode for the top place on current form.
George Ford's lack of first team action is amply demonstrated by only be 4th on the all time scoring list ahead of such no names as Les Cusworth, John Liley and Joel Stransky, at the ripe old age of 19 he clearly can't let himself rot playing finals at Tigers all his life so needs to move on.
|Top Ten Points and Try Scorers in Finals|
Tigers Finals Record
|Harlequins||L 23-30||T: Allen, Mafi; C: 2 Ford; P: 3 Ford||Premiership||26/05/2012||Twickenham|
|Northampton||W 26-14||T: Mafi, Hamilton; C: 2 Ford; P: 4 Ford||Anglo-Welsh||18/03/2012||Worcester|
|Saracens||L 18-22||P: 6 Flood||Premiership||28/05/2011||Twickenham|
M.Smith, B.Youngs, Hipkiss; C: 3 Flood;
P: 4 Flood
Woods; C: Dupuy;
P: 3 Dupuy
|London Irish||W 10-9||T:
Crane; C: Dupuy;
P: 2 Goode
|Ospreys||L 6-23||P: Goode; DG: Goode||Anglo-Welsh||12/04/2008||Twickenham|
|Wasps||L 25-9||P: 3 Goode||European||20/05/2007||Twickenham|
2 A.Tuilagi, F. Murphy, Moody, Jennings, Corry, Goode; C: 3 Goode;
|Ospreys||W 41-35||T: 2 Varndell, A.Tuilagi, Kay, Croft; C: 4 Burke, Goode; P: 2 Goode||Anglo-Welsh||15/04/2007||Twickenham|
|Sale||L 20-45||T: Moody, Hamilton; C: 2 Goode; P: 2 Goode||Premiership||27/05/2006||Twickenham|
|Wasps||L 14-39||T: Bemand; P: 3 Goode||Premiership||14/05/2005||Twickenham|
2 Lloyd, 2 Back, Gibson, Healey;
C: 3 Goode; P: 4 Goode
|Saracens||W 27-20||T: West, Back; C: Stimpson; P: 4 Stimpson; DG: McMullen||Wild Card||31/05/2003||Northampton|
|Munster||W 15-9||T: Healey, G.Murphy; C: Stimpson; P: Stimpson||European||25/05/2002||Cardiff|
|Stade Francais||W 34-30||T: 2 Lloyd, Back; C: Stimpson; P: 5 Stimpson||European||19/05/2002||Parc des Princes|
Johnson, Healey, Stanley; C: 2 Stimpson;
|Sale||W 9-6||P: 3 Stransky||Cup||10/05/1997||Twickenham|
|Brive||L 9-28||P: 3 Liley||European||25/01/1997||Cardiff|
|Bath||L 15-16||T: Malone, Poole; C: Liley; P: Liley||Cup||04/05/1996||Twickenham|
|Bath||L 9-21||P: 3 Harris||Cup||07/05/1994||Twickenham|
Potter, M. Johnson; C: 2 Liley; P: 2 Liley;
|Bath||L 6-10||P: 2 Hare||Cup||29/04/1989||Twickenham|
|Bristol||L 22-28||T: Evans, I.Smith; C: Cusworth; P: 4 Cusworth||Cup||30/04/1983||Twickenham|
Barnwell, Kenney, Hare; C: 2 Hare;
P: 2 Hare
|London Irish||W 21-9||P: 4 Hare; DG: Hare, 2 Cusworth||Cup||19/04/1980||Twickenham|
|Moseley||W 15-12||T: Kenney; C: Hare; P: 2 Hare; DG: Hare||Cup||21/04/1979||Twickenham|
|Gloucester||L 3-6||P: Hare||Cup||15/04/1978||Twickenham|
This will be Saints 11th final in all competitions and the 7th time they go to Twickenham. In 4 Knock Out Cup finals at Twickenham they returned potless each time, losing their debut final in a thrilling match with Quins which required extra time before finishing in the Londoner's favour. Defeats against Wasps, London Irish and Gloucester were to follow. Squeezed between these final defeats was Saints' greatest day; the 9-8 Heineken Cup Final victory over Munster in May 2000.
Under Jim Mallinder they boast a record of 3 finals victories to 2 defeats making him Northampton's most decorated coach; winning the EDF Trophy whilst in National League Divison 1 (now the Championship)in 2008, the Amlin Challenge Cup against Bourgoin in 2009 and completing three trophies in three years after sealing their first top tier domestic trophy with the LV Cup win against Gloucester at Sixways.
Heartbreak was to follow though as Leinster over turned a massive 16 point deficit at half time to win by 11 points in Cardiff, holding the Saints scoreless in the process, and denying Northampton a second European crown. Northampton's most recent final was last season's LV Cup final against our good selves in Worcester. And we all know how that turned out.
Saints Finals Record
|Bourgoin||W 15-3||Euro Challenge||22/05/2009||Stoop|
|London Irish||L 7-38||Cup||20/04/2002||Twickenham|
|Harlequins||L 13-25 A.E.T.||Cup||04/05/1991||Twickenham|