Owen Farrell insists Saracens back to Gallagher Premier League final by putting more string on their bows as a result of last year’s Twickenham heartache.
Leicester They became champions at the expense of the Saracens, and despite a narrow loss of 15-12, a disappointing performance prompted a tactical rethink with more emphasis on offense.
Now, they face the ultimate test of their progress in Saturday’s winner-takes-all match against Sale.
“After last year’s final it took us a while to figure out how to get the most out of ourselves because we didn’t do it in that game,” Farrell said.
“What happened has probably allowed us to change a little more than we normally would after a final. It made us look at ourselves a little bit more than usual.
“Just because we didn’t give our best and give the best version of ourselves.
“Obviously Leicester played a big part in that, but we don’t want to leave the pitch feeling like that again. Those 80 minutes made us look at everything and how we could be better.
“Everyone is talking about us now as if we’ve become a team playing offensive rugby this year alone. We won something before we played good rugby.
“We always had and still have a solid foundation behind us, but there were times throughout the year and sometimes in big pressure matches where we tried to stay competitive, whereas now we want to seize opportunities and make good decisions.
“Part of that could be staying in tackle – we want to be good at it – and part of that could be moving the ball. It could be anything – kick pass, run.
“We want to be good enough to play in whatever way the game demands of us, and we think we’ve taken a step forward in that this year. I hope that plays a big part in what we’re going to do on Saturday.”
An important battle that will shape the competition is Farrell’s George FordHis longtime friend and former England teammate who has been hugely influential for Sale since he came back from an Achilles injury.
“I’ve known George since I was a kid. When you meet him, you know first and foremost you’re playing against a quality player,” said Farrell.
“You know you’re playing against someone who knows what he’s doing, and Sale is an outstanding player as he’s shown since his return to the team.
“He’s in a good place, he looks calm, he looks controlled and I’m sure there’s a great driver behind this Sale team, so I’m looking forward to it.”