Burger eyes Wembley retribution
December 5, 2011
Jacques Burger hopes Saracens can take their Aviva Premiership form into the Heineken Cup © Getty Images
Saracens flanker Jacques Burger is relishing the chance to run out at Wembley against the Ospreys on Saturday but is calling on his side to take note of what happened the last time they played at the stadium.
The reigning English champions went down 25-23 against Leinster last season in front of 45,892 fans and their back-row Burger insists they cannot afford a repeat. "I wasn't really familiar with Wembley before I came over but just talking and listening to the guys here and you knew it's a special place in this part of the world," said the Namibian captain. "However, I have been lucky enough to play there a couple of times for Saracens already and I love it. And, although it is a massive stadium, the atmosphere is both very intense and special.
"We are talking about running out at one of the best stadiums in Europe, if not the world, and you have to be excited about that. The last time we played there in the Heineken Cup we unfortunately lost to Leinster but we are all determined to put that right when we play the Ospreys on Saturday."
And Burger is under no illusions to just how big a task awaits them in the guise of the Ospreys. The Welsh region are undefeated in the Pool - having accounted for Biarritz and drawing with Treviso - and will look to gatecrash Saracens' party. "We know the Ospreys will be tough - we saw in the World Cup that Welsh rugby is really on a high and they just seem to be producing all these incredible players - so we know how challenging the next two games are going to be.
"This is a Pool which has the best side in Wales, former finalists Biarritz and ourselves, the champions of England, and then you have Treviso, who as the Ospreys have just found out are so tough to beat at home.
"Nobody should underestimate how tough Treviso are in Italy and I am sure all of the sides probably know this Pool is going to be won and lost on small margins.
"You have to win your home games and get something away from home, and even finishing second is probably not going to be enough to qualify as one of the best runners-up.
"The Ospreys may be rebuilding but now they have new and young players in the side and that just makes them even more dangerous for us. We have watched videos of them and they are a top team - and have been one of the top teams in the Heineken Cup over the last few years."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September