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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Freescoring Northampton can stay on Wasps' tail

Hosts fired- up with playoffs in sight

Christian Wade scores for Wasps in their victory at Northampton earlier this season
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Wasps v Northampton
BT Sport 1, 3pm Sunday

Beleaguered Northampton showed they have still have some fire in their bellies in a surprise victory at Leicester last time out, and the test now is whether they kick on from there or rest on their laurels.

At the end of a disappointing season and amid reports of fallouts inside the club, the Saints finally have some credit in the bank thanks to that Welford Road success.

But with a final home fixture against second-bottom Worcester next week they may struggle to match the intensity of a Wasps side looking to boost their playoff hopes.

Wasps go to Newcastle in the final round to take on the team who moved above them to third thanks to Friday's victory over Leicester, and they can hugely ease the qualification pressure with a big win.

That is reflected in a handicap set in the high teens but Northampton should not be dismissed too easily as they are a side who score tries even during a run of poor results.

They outgunned Leicester three tries to two a fortnight ago, while in their previous two away matches, both narrow defeats to top-four sides, they edged Newcastle by three tries to one and scored three to Exeter's four.

A dry day is forecast in Coventry and while Wasps probably will do enough to further their playoff progress the Saints can find the scores to at least stay close.

In the day's other Premiership game London Irish, 14 points adrift at the bottom, get a 20-point start at home to mighty Saracens.

Northampton +18
2pts 10-11 general

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Northampton should not be dismissed too easily as they are a side who score tries even during a run of poor results
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