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Saracens fan Louise Warr explains why Chris Ashton and Saracens have proved all the doubters wrong
Saracens are often accused of playing boring rugby. The kick chase experts. Chris Ashton is a try scoring machine and king of the splash.
When it was announced that Ashton was to swap Northampton Saints for the men in black at the start of the season more than a few eyebrows were raised.
Many questioned the motives behind the move and it would be fair to say his previous employers were far from impressed by it.
After all, Ashton and Saracens doesn’t exactly sound like a match made in heaven.
However, with the season now well underway, this is a partnership that just seems to work.
Ashton brings something different to any team he plays in. He goes looking for work; he doesn’t just stand on his wing waiting for the action to come to him.
Pair this together with speed (we've all seen that try against Australia) and support lines to die for and you have the recipe for a quality attacking threat.
An attacking threat that, according to some experts in the summer, would be squandered chasing high balls at Saracens.
He has brought something extra to a Sarries backline that has an embarrassing amount of international quality throughout it ranks - that is no mean feat.
His performance in the game against London Irish on the opening day at Twickenham was just a preview of things to come.
Everyone is more than aware of the talent Ashton possesses; a little less obvious is what a club like Sarries could do for him.
It is well documented that the England winger’s prolific scoring has slowed down in recent times and I genuinely feel that Saracens’ environment will solve any problems that may exist.
I am sure we have all been in situations when something just isn’t working, we are aware of it, the last thing we need is for someone to constantly point it out. Ashton will be no different.
At Sarries, they like to take the focus away from rugby some of the time, the emphasis being that there simply is just more to life than sport, something I feel will be of great benefit to him.
Ashton has also admitted himself that he is a restless character, and I find it hard to imagine that Saracens is a place you could get easily bored.
They pride themselves on being one step ahead of the rest and making memories in the process, something Ashton would have experienced already not only their game in Brussels but with a trip to Oktoberfest too.
It is hard to talk about Chris Ashton without mentioning that try celebration, the “ash-splash” as it has now become known. In some ways it is very much like Saracens.
It's flashy, it’s different and it’s marmite, you either love it or you hate it.
Much of this anti-ash-splash mentality I feel is down to jealousy.
If we are all being honest, how many of us cursed his try scoring exploits when they were taking place in the colours of our fierce rivals Northampton? I know I did, on more than one occasion.
I for one would much prefer to see someone enjoying themselves, playing the game with passion, than someone who looks like they would rather be somewhere else.
That is all the ash splash is in my eyes, an expression of the sheer delight of scoring a try, not showing off or showboating.
Splash or not, Ashton and Saracens seem to be a match made in rugby heaven, a match I hope continues for a very long time.