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Saints can adapt to win matches - Furbank

Northampton Saints full-back George Furbank said the team's adaptability was key to their Premiership semi-final win over Saracens.

Saints were outscored by two tries to one and there were only glimpses of their normal free-flowing style.

But they ground out a 22-20 win, helped by 17 points from the boot of Fin Smith, and will face Bath or Sale Sharks at Twickenham on 8 June.

"Play-off rugby is a different animal - we knew we had a big challenge," England international Furbank told BBC Radio Northampton.

"We felt if we executed our game like we have done all season then we'd come away with a win. There were times when we didn't do that but we stuck to the system, relied on our D (defence) quite a bit and took our opportunities when they came.

"The Saints way is any way - we can adapt to whatever rugby we need to play and the crowd is always going to help you get through a game."

Northampton's sole Premiership title was won 10 years ago and they are hoping for a repeat as they prepare to say goodbye to a number of stalwarts this summer, including France-bound Courtney Lawes and Lewis Ludlam, plus brothers Alex and Ethan Waller, who are retiring.

Following defeats at the semi-final stage in the past two seasons, Furbank said: "We felt like we owed it to ourselves to get to a final. I don't think I've ever wanted to win a game more, if I'm honest.

"There's a lot of big names leaving this year and it's been a big driving factor. We spoke about having one more week with them and we've done that."

Next weekend's final will be Northampton's fourth - but their first since their 24-20 extra-time win over Saracens a decade ago.

And director of rugby Phil Dowson and his coaching staff now have the task of checking for knocks among the squad before deciding on their starting line-up for Twickenham.

"Let's be happy about winning [against Saracens] but that doesn't mean anything really. Ultimately that counts for nothing if we don't turn up next week and do a job," said centre Fraser Dingwall.

"We clapped the boys for whom that was their final appearance at Franklin's Gardens, that was a really special moment - but we've got a job to do next week."