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Luke Baldwin tips Saracens for big things despite 7s finals disappointment

Saracens' Luke Baldwin. Picture: Nigel French/PA Wire Saracens' Luke Baldwin. Picture: Nigel French/PA Wire

By Paddy von Behr
Sunday, August 11, 2013
6:15 PM

Saracens scrum-half Luke Baldwin is expecting big things this season at Allianz Park despite a disappointing exit at the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series Finals.

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Inaugural winners in 2010, Saracens headed to the Rec with a much-changed squad – England wing Chris Ashton the highest-profile withdrawal – but were fancied by many to regain the trophy.

Despite beating Newcastle Falcons 19-15 in their first clash of the evening, a narrow 17-14 defeat to Gloucester in the final pool fixture in Bath prevented Sarries from taking their place in the final.

Gloucester went to defeat Leicester with Baldwin reflecting on the small margins that often decide 7s matches but also expressing his determination that the disappointment doesn’t taint the season that waits.

“There is something very special happening at Sarries and we wanted to come and show a good account of ourselves,” said Baldwin. “A couple of the young boys played very well and obviously they have bright futures.

“We want to win everything – we play to compete and we play to win. We are obviously bitterly disappointed with the result but we have a huge XVs season ahead and Sarries will be gunning for victories in every competition.

“We came in saying we were going to be the most physical team and it was just errors that cost us the game. That’s the nature of the beast really – we weren’t connected that well in defence and Gloucester made a few line breaks and fair play to them.

“We just rushed a bit, just a little bit of decision-making went awry, and that was the key. Obviously in 7s you are never up and away with it, whether you are four tries up or one try up.”

Saracens were seconds from cementing a clash with Leicester in the final at the Rec but a last-gasp try from Andrew Bulumakau sent eventual winners Gloucester through at their expense.

But Baldwin relished the experience of playing in front of an enthusiastic Bath crowd and the 22-year-old revealed his aspirations of nailing down a regular spot in the Sarries side for the season.

“I was at Bedford last year and this year I’ll hopefully play a few more games for Sarries and see if I can make a claim for the No.9 shirt,” he said.

“It takes a bit of time and you have to put in the performances but we have a big tour to South Africa coming up and I’ll hopefully play well in that and see how it goes.

“It changes so quickly so I couldn’t predict anything this season.”

For all the news from the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series see www.jpmorgan7s.com

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