Victor Matfield says that he has been surprised by the competitiveness of the Aviva Premiership
The Springbok legend arrived at Franklin’s Gardens after the Rugby World Cup
This follows Saints loss at early season strugglers Newcastle Falcons last weekend
Northampton forward Victor Matfield has admitted he was surprised by the competitiveness of the Aviva Premiership, insisting any team can beat anyone on any giving day heading into their clash with Worcester at the weekend.
The 38-year-old, who has fitted in really well at Franklin’s Gardens, has added vital experience at a crucial time, with the 2007 Rugby World Cup winner helping to improve Saints form in recent weeks before a shock loss away at Newcastle last weekend.
“When I came over I must say I thought there’d be five or maybe six teams competing for those top four positions,” said Matfield. “But it’s been very competitive. On any day, any team can beat any team. It’s hard games every week.
“[The Newcastle result was] very frustrating, especially if you look at the way we’ve played in the previous two weeks. We had just started to build some momentum but this is just a little setback, and hopefully we can get back on the horse again next weekend.”
This has been shown in the tight contests that the Saints have had with the current bottom three sides in the league table, all of which were settled by just one point in the contests away from Franklin’s Gardens.
The first of these came at Sixways on opening day back in October, when a last-gasp Tom Heathcote drop goal grabbed a win for Worcester.
Matfield was still on international duty with South Africa, but he knows that this result shows that the Warriors cannot be underestimated heading into this weekends clash.
“Worcester are going to be very tough again,” he comments. “They surprised us at the start of the season while I was away at the World Cup. We know it’s going to be a tough game.”