May 15, 2017
Making Memories - A Day of Milestones in Edinburgh
The 2017 Champions Cup final was played out in front of 55,272 fans at Murrayfield on Saturday as Saracens sealed the crown for the second successive year.
It was a day to remember for the club and its loyal band of supporters and a number of great memories were made, so we have taken a look at a few of the milestones from the final.
European Player of the Year:
Billy Vunipola was man-of the-match in the final but Owen Farrell was named European Player of the Year for the first time after the game. He was the leading points scorer in this year’s competition, with 126 points; just one point short of his 2015/16 mark of 127. Farrell was presented with the newly named Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy by the late Munster 2006 European Cup winning captain’s wife Olive and son Tony after the match.
Chris Ashton’s Try Record:
Ashton leaves the club after a successful five-year spell that has yielded as successful a trophy haul as it’s likely to come across in club rugby. However, it is the record of 37 European tries that stands out from the 30-year-old’s Champions Cup final along with lifting the famous trophy. His 12th minute effort not only sent Sarries on their way to victory but beat the record of 36 European tries he had shared with Vincent Clerc since a brace in the quarter final against Glasgow Warriors.
Ben Spencer’s 100th appearance:
Ben Spencer has now made 100 appearances for Sarries and was presented with his 100th cap shirt after the game by Chairman Nigel Wray. Spencer entered the field of play in the final minutes of the final but his contribution to the club has spread far wider than the minutes he played on Saturday. After the match, he tweeted: “Doesn't get better than this! To play 100 games for @Saracens and with these bunch of lads has been a huge privilege. What a way to do it.”
Saracens’ 100th game in Europe and 18th game unbeaten:
After becoming the fourth club to win back-to-back Champions Cup finals, the win also marked the Men in Black’s 100th in European competition. They have now won 57 in the European Cup and 43 in the Challenge Cup. The win also seals the longest unbeaten run in European Cup history, beating Leinster’s mark of 18 games from 2010 to 2012 and following on from their having won all 9 games on the way 2015/16 title.
Brad at the double:
Saracens skipper Brad Barritt joined an elite club of men who have lifted the European club as captain as he hoisted the trophy above his head alongside Owen Farrell in the royal box. The other players to have lifted the trophy more than once are: Leinster’s Leo Cullen who leads the way with 3 and Fabien Pelous of Toulouse who won in 2003 and 2005. The fellow Englishmen on the list are Lawrence Dallaglio of Wasps and Johnny Wilkinson of Toulon who have also won as captain twice each, not a bad group eh?