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Martin Crowson's five things: Twitter apology from Northampton Saints' flanker

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Martin Crowson looks back at five key points from the weekend's rugby action.

1 Northampton flanker Calum Clark failed to get the hostile reception he might have been expecting at Welford Road after making a return from an eight-month ban for breaking Leicester Tigers' hooker Rob Hawkins' arm last March. After the game, the 23-year-old took to Twitter to publicly apologise for his actions in the LV= Cup final at Sixways. He tweeted: "I have been to some dark places over the last 32 weeks. A lot of people have had a lot to say. I'm going to take my turn. I am ashamed and sorry for what happened. I have taken a long hard look in the mirror and blame nobody but myself. I have learnt a lot."

2 The natives are getting restless in Northampton. Saints' failure to beat top-four sides is clearly irking many of their fans judging by some of the reactions to Saturday's defeat on their official fans' forum. There is a string of negative discussion topics with the main focus on whether Northampton, as a club, are ambitious enough on and off the field to win the major trophies they are long overdue.

3 Yes, Leicester can manage with openside flanker Julian Salvi, but the win against Northampton showed you just how much better they are with him playing. It has taken an injury like the Aussie's broken hand to remind everyone what a world-class player he is. And that was on the back of five weeks on the sidelines. If Salvi stays fit – and Richard Cockerill will be praying most nights that he does – I firmly believe Wallabies boss Robbie Deans would be bonkers not to consider him for the series against the British & Irish Lions.

4 Bath's big-money fly-half Stephen Donald will be in the dog-house this week after handing London Welsh victory on a last-minute platter with a long, looping and, eventually intercepted pass, which Nick Scott returned 75 metres for a try to break a 9-9 tie. Bath boss Gary Gold called the Kiwi's risky chuck "ridiculous". If the West Country side fail to qualify for Europe by a point come May, this moment will haunt Donald as long as he lives.

5 It was great to see Tigers prop Martin Castrogiovanni back in the thick of things on Saturday. Castro has endured a tough season, with limited action behind the in-form Dan Cole. But he proved he was still very much up for the fight.

Martin Crowson's five things: Twitter apology from Northampton Saints'  flanker


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