This Sunday sees an enticing semi-final clash between Saracens, 'champions' of the regular season, and that rare beast, a full-strength Northampton Saints side.

Though recent head-to-heads would indicate that the Men in Black have a clear advantage, we can't forget the old cliché that "the form book goes out the window" in knockout clashes such as these. Saints' form in the last few seasons has been known to fluctuate from the world-beating to the clueless.

They have one of the biggest packs in the league, which likes to bully and intimidate its opposition on the gain line. If they win that battle, they certainly have the talent - if not always the cohesion - to be punishing out wide.

On paper, then, there may be little to choose between the two sides, but how about on grass(ish)?

Allianz Park has been home sweet home for us so far. Sarries have won five out of five in the Premiership, three times with a bonus point, and with a smallest winning margin of nine points.

It is a formidable record which might just provide a crucial boost for the home side.

A lot of this success is due to the speed we've added to our previous territorial, physical gameplan. We've had faster feet and leg drive at the breakdown. We've used quick short passes to forward runners (Vunipola, Hargreaves) coming quicker on reverse angles. We've used the platform to get ball to our quickest players when they're in space.

Joel Tomkins has settled as one of the league's most dangerous weapons, with his hard lines and audacious offloads. Ashton and Strettle are making line breaks and are at their best in terms of finishing.

Perhaps the best thing about this unbeaten record is that it becomes self-perpetuating; i.e. the longer it goes on, the harder we fight to protect it.

There is a spring in our step, not just from the pitch, but also from the sensation of having a home.

As for the atmosphere...well it's hardly a cauldron yet, but it's getting better. The Les Miserables rendition is generally falling on silent mouths, but as tends to be the case, good rugby tends to be the best generator of crowd noise. With Saints set to bring a big travelling contingent, it would be nice if the place doesn't feel like an away ground, as happens far too often.

We're just 80 minutes away from Twickenham (again).