'All about Twickenham' for Mujati

Tue, 21 May 2013 11:32
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He may be moving on to Racing Metro, but Northampton Saints tighthead prop Brian Mujati has his focus firmly on the Premiership Final this weekend.

He may be moving on to Racing Metro at the end of the season, but Northampton Saints tighthead prop Brian Mujati has his focus firmly on the Premiership Final this weekend.

This may be Northampton Saints' first Premiership final but Brian Mujati insists they will not be lacking in big-match experience when they arrive at Twickenham on Saturday.

It is now two years since Mujati's team suffered European Cup heartbreak as they surrendered a 22-6 half-time lead against Leinster, ultimately going down 33-22 as dreams of a first European Cup triumphed disappeared in the blink of an eye.

That defeat took some getting over but Mujati and his Northampton Saints team mates will have a chance for redemption in front of a sell-out crowd at Twickenham on Saturday after stunning Saracens at Allianz Park to set up a final with local rivals Leicester Tigers.

Saints - much like they were in Cardiff two years ago - will be the underdogs against their east Midlands rivals but Mujati is adamant the experience of 2011, coupled with a knowledge of playing Leicester can give Saints the edge this weekend.

"I think the Heineken final was an experience. It's something you learn from. It takes time to forget. Inevitably you learn from this experience. No final is won at half-time," said the Springbok prop, who will play his final game for the club before leaving for Racing Metro.

"It will be difficult for us. We have done well to give ourselves a chance and we are going to have to be even better to be in with a chance against Leicester

"It's been a tough old season. We know we've had a few good performances and we know we've had a few bad performances. But we are still in the fight so we will push on and see where we can get to.

"Leicester are similar to us in a lot of ways. We try to be physical and strong up front and that's what they are all about so we'll just see who the last man standing is really. It's going to be a big old ball."

Tighthead Mujati has become a cult figure at Franklin's Gardens since joining the club in 2009.

And while he admits it will be an emotional time when the full-time whistle blows on Saturday, he is adamant he owes it to the fans not to think about anything other than ending his time in Northampton with some silverware.

"You can't avoid the emotion, but I will do my best to focus on the game along with everyone else. I will just give it my best shot," he added.

"You can't fight the emotion, it's going to be emotional. But we've just got to focus on the game and give it our best effort.

"I know it's moving to France and learning a new language but I haven't really looked that far ahead. I've been here four years and I have lost a lot of semis and I know that this kind of opportunity does not come often so I think I would be letting everyone else down if I was looking ahead. I think we just need to focus on the now and give it our best.

"I think it will be the highlight of my time here if we win. If you look at this season, if you had said two weeks ago we would be in this position having this conversation, I would not have believed you.

"In a season like that when you win something when no one believed you could makes it all the more special. So it would be cool to do something like that.

"It will probably hit me after the game that I am leaving but for now its all about Twickenham," he added.

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Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 4 4 0 0 17
Exeter Chiefs 4 3 0 1 15
Harlequins 4 3 0 1 13
Leicester Tigers 4 3 0 1 12
Northampton Saints 5 2 0 3 12
Bath 4 2 0 2 10
Worcester Warriors 4 2 0 2 10
Sale Sharks 4 2 0 2 10
Wasps 4 2 0 2 9
Gloucester 5 2 0 3 9
London Irish 4 0 0 4 0
Newcastle Falcons 4 0 0 4 0