Goode: Sarries hungry for Euro glory

Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:17
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Alex Goode insists Saracens are hungrier than ever for European Cup glory this season.

Alex Goode insists Saracens are hungrier than ever for European Cup glory this season.

Clermont ended their hopes of European success in the last eight in 2012 and Toulon derailed their charge at this stage of the campaign 12 months ago but Goode is convinced that the English league leaders can go one step further this time around.

"It is such a huge game for the club. All the players are so hungry to do better than last year," said Goode.

"I believe we can now step up to that level and have a great chance to go all the way this time.

"It would be an amazing achievement. To be top of Europe is a tough ask, especially when you're fighting in the Premiership as well. It would be a dream come true."

If Saracens are to feature in a first final next month, their outstanding defence will have to be particularly prominent at English's headquarters in five days' time given the extensive array of attacking weapons at Clermont's disposal.

The French giants have an abundance of power up front and even greater pace behind, a mix that is certain to test Saracens' systems, structures and spirit in South West London.

But Sarries have long been known for their 'Wolf Pack' mentality without the ball and Goode believes that attitude can set the platform for something special on Saturday.

"They've got some amazingly gifted runners in [Wesley] Fofana, [Sitiveni] Sivivatu and [Napolioni] Nalaga," added Goode.

"They've got a very big, powerful and classic French pack and [flyhalf] Brock James has a good kicking game, he kicks it a long way and they get a lot out of territory. They bully you when they are on the front foot and can be very dangerous.

"That said we've got one of the best defences in the European Cup and are confident of breaking down any opponent."

Goode started Saracens' 23-18 win at Newcastle on Sunday as he made his comeback from the knock to the head he suffered in a collision with opposite number Jared Payne in the European Cup quarterfinal win over Ulster on April 6.

The England international showed no signs of rustiness at Kingston Park and Sarries boss Mark McCall was delighted with the impact he had with the crucial clash with Clermont on the horizon.

"I thought in the first half Alex was the stand-out player on the pitch," said McCall.

"He was magnificent and at times he was electric. He made great decisions and it was great to get him back on the park with the Clermont game just a week away.

"[The] result creates a feel good feeling around the club. A lot of the players haven't played that much in the last few weeks and they got their opportunity and took it, which is wonderful. We are looking forward to the preparation for next week now."

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Fri, 16 October 2015
Blue Bulls v Western Province 17h10 Pretoria
Connacht v Zebre 18h30 Sportsground
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 18h35 Scotstoun
Scarlets v Leinster 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 18h45 Sixways
Edinburgh v Ulster 18h45 BT Murrayfield
Harlequins v Wasps 18h45 Twickenham Stoop
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 17 October 2015
Munster v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Irish Independent Park
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Recreation Ground
Saracens v Sale Sharks 13h00 Allianz Park
Treviso v Ospreys 13h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
South Africa v Wales 15h00 Twickenham
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 15h05 Johannesburg
New Zealand v France 19h00 Millennium Stadium
Sun, 18 October 2015
Ireland v Argentina 12h00 Millennium Stadium
London Irish v Leicester Tigers 14h15 Madejski Stadium
Australia v Scotland 15h00 Twickenham
Sun, 11 October 2015
United States v Japan 18 | 28
France v Ireland 9 | 24
Italy v Romania 32 | 22
Argentina v Namibia 64 | 19
Sat, 10 October 2015
England v Uruguay 60 | 3
Australia v Wales 15 | 6
Golden Lions v Griquas 29 | 19
Samoa v Scotland 33 | 36
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 34 | 34
Fri, 09 October 2015
New Zealand v Tonga 47 | 9
Western Province v EP Kings 45 | 14
Pumas v Blue Bulls 24 | 25
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 4 0 2 17
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Sale Sharks 5 0 0 5 2
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 4 1 1 20
Wasps 6 3 1 2 18
Harlequins 6 4 0 2 18
Castres 6 0 0 6 1
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Toulon 6 5 0 1 22
Leicester Tigers 6 3 0 3 13
Ulster 6 2 0 4 12
Scarlets 6 2 0 4 8
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Bath 6 4 0 2 19
Toulouse 6 4 0 2 17
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 5 1 0 24
Northampton Saints 6 4 0 2 19
Ospreys 6 1 1 4 9
Treviso 6 1 0 5 4