Mar 22, 2015
Last gasp Spencer wins Cup
Ben Spencer kicked a last-ditch penalty to win the LV=Cup for Saracens.
After a pulsating second half which saw five tries scored, Spencer had the kick with the scores at 20-20 with time up on the clock and the scrum half kept his nerve to win the trophy for the first time in the club’s history.
Saracens were 6-3 behind at the interval but two second half tries from David Strettle and a Nick de Jager score had given them a 20-6 lead. But the Chiefs hit back with two converted tries to level the scores before Spencer’s heroics.
Spencer opened the scoring with a penalty from 35 metres after excellent work from the Saracens pack forced the kick.
Minutes later, Exeter were back in the game after Chiefs wing Tom James tore down the left flank to within inches of the try line. The Sarries defence scrambled to hold firm but an earlier offence allowed Ceri Sweeney to level the scores.
Sweeney missed the chance to extend the lead when his penalty hit the upright midway through the half and then he missed a far easier kick minutes later just 20 metres from goal.
However, from another break, Sweeney did extend the lead after Ben Spencer was penalised for not rolling away on the 22. Spencer earned a yellow card and Sweeney gave his side the lead.
After a fine opening start in the second half, Sarries pressure and patience paid off when David Strettle picked off a loose pass inside the Chiefs half and raced away to score.
Strettle crossed again on 50 minutes with a beautifully worked try. After powering through the middle of the Chiefs defence, Spencer spotted men over and changed the angle of attack and, spotting Strettle in acres of space, he delivered a perfect crossfield kick and the Sarries wing didn’t even have to break stride to catch and touch down.
Sarries scored a third going into the final quarter. A terrific break from the break of the scrum saw Spencer take play deep into the Chiefs 22 and after the forwards went through at least 10 phases, Nick de Jager powered over from close range. Spencer added the conversion to make the lead 20-6 with 18 minutes left on the clock.
But the Chiefs didn’t back down and immediately went on the attack from the restart. They powered deep into Sarries territory using their forward pack to full effect. It ended with the Chiefs held up over the Sarries line, but from the resulting 5m scrum, they forced two penalties with saw replacement hooker Scott Spurling sent to the sin bin.
Eventually the pressure told as the Chiefs worked the ball wide and Max bodily touched down in the corner. Gareth Steenson’s conversion went in off the upright to put the Chiefs back to within a score with 10 minutes left on the clock.
The Chiefs kept on going and they levelled the scores when Bodilly went over for his second of the game with just two minutes on the clock. Steenson levelled and it was all to play for.
Sarries went upfield and pressured the Chiefs line again and they earned a penalty on the 22 metres line and Spencer stepped up to win the LV=Cup.