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Saracens fan Louise Warr looks back on bitter rivalry with Northampton Saints ahead of Premiership match on Saturday
One thing that draws us all to sport is its competitive nature.
Competition will always bring rivalries - it keeps things interesting providing extra motivation for players and an extra spark of excitement for fans.
Some rivalries are born out of geographical location. Gloucester and Bath or Leicester and Northampton.
Their fans will mix together on a daily basis but come kick-off on the day of the game, friendships are placed aside for the love of their team.
For others it is born out of a series of events and this would be the case for Saracens and Saturday’s opposition, Northampton Saints.
The close on the field battles shared between the clubs often drift into insignificance when discussing this matter.
The rivalry is essentially based on a song. A song that had been sung on many occasions before and was repeated many times after that day at Franklins Gardens, in which Saracens defeated the home side 28-27.
Jim Mallinder accused the Men in Black of singing like they had won the league and Alex Goode slammed the Saints for not shaking hands after the game.
It all seems pretty childish stuff when written down on paper.
Soane Tonga’uhuia then had his say in the matter, mixing up tensions between the clubs even further.
Having a move to Saracens been all seemingly done and dusted the now Racing Metro prop decided to stay in the West Midlands.
Nobody apart from the parties involved will ever truly know what went on but it certainly ensured there was no love lost.
The most recent off the field interaction came through the departure of Ashton from the Saints.
As much as their fans would like to deny it now, Ashton had become an integral part of their team, despite leaving in not the finest of form.
His partnership with Foden was one that baffled and caught out opposition for both club and country and his try-scoring exploits had made him a fan’s favourite. It must have hurt to see him leave, especially to Saracens.
Northampton are a team that deserve a lot of respect.
They have the weight of the expectations of a rugby mad town on their shoulders and have battled their way up from Division One - as it was known - then to become top four contenders year on year.
They have a ground which is up there as one of the nicest to visit in the Premiership and one in which you can draw similarities to how Sarries have designed things at Allianz Park.
They provide a stark contrast to Saracens in many ways.
The former nomads with a love of doing things differently against the club steeped in tradition with a firm supporter base: trend setters versus the old school.
Secretly I think they admire each other, not that anyone will dare to admit it. They bring the best out of each other on the field and perhaps the worst off it.
Northampton are going into the game following a 27-16 win over the Ospreys while Saracens will be fired up following their heartbreak against Toulouse and perhaps more painfully, the memory of a semi-final defeat at the end of last season.
So come the final whistle on Saturday the next chapter will be written.
Will the Saints carry on marching or will Tikki Tikki Tonga ring around Franklins Gardens once again?
One thing that’s for sure is that this will be a battle of seismic proportions.
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