Under the warmth of a blaring late May sun and with the force of a vocal Allianz Park crowd behind them Saracens secured their place in the Gallagher Premiership final in style with a 44-19 win over Gloucester.
It was a frantic start to the game as both sides looked to set the tempo early on, Gloucester opening the scoring through Ben Morgan before Sarries hit back with a try of their own all within the opening five minutes. Liam Williams kept the ball alive from the restart and it led to Owen Farrell’s grubber sitting up nicely for Sean Maitland to dot down. Only a missed Saracens conversion separated the teams in the early stages of this knockout encounter.
Saracens claimed the narrowest of advantages just before the midway point in the half, Farrell slotting his first penalty of the day to lift the hosts a point clear of their visitors. The fly-half had a second chance to extend Sarries’ lead from the tee minutes later but hia effort ricocheted off the upright to keep Saracens lead restricted to eight points to seven.
The game really opened up as the clock hit the half-hour mark as the pressure of Saracens’ high tempo game play finally told on the Cherry and Whites. A bright break from Maro Itoje saw the back rower move clear of the Gloucester defence before a lovely dummy allowed him to release Ben Spencer who made the straightforward dash under the sticks to score and lift Saracens to a 15-7 lead.
Buoyed by their second try of the game the home side proceeded to close out the half in style. Alex Lozowski superbly claimed Farrell’s bomb before weaving in and out of the Glaws defence and setting up Liam Williams for a trademark dive in the corner. Forty minutes down and Saracens were enjoying a 23-7 lead.
There was no letting up for the Men in Black after the break. Nick Tompkins marked his 100th appearance for the club with a fine hat-trick of tries within just 15 minutes of second half action to pull Saracens well clear of Gloucester, adding 21 points to Sarries’ first-half tally.
The first was a delightful sprint and the second saw Sarries turnover over in their own half before showing brilliant handling to put the young centre over. He wrapped things up with a score on the stretch to cap a memorable day.
Gloucester however were not buried yet. The Cherry and Whites hit back with two scores of their own; first replacement prop Ruan Dreyer edged round his defender to find the try line before Lewis Ludlow added Gloucester’s third effort of the afternoon to pull the visitors back to 44-19.
Despite some bright play as the clock wound down there would be no further comeback for Gloucester as Saracens closed out the final stages of the game to secure the win and a place in the final at Twickenham for the second year running.