May 17, 2017
Match Preview: Aviva Premiership Semi Final
This weekend sees Saracens go head to head with Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park for a place in the Aviva Premiership Final as the knock out stages of the competition get underway.
Exeter go into the semi final in excellent form and off the back of a run of eight successive bonus point victories which took them to second place in the table. They have also enjoyed an impressive home record this season, losing just twice at Sandy Park – to Saracens in round 2 and Bath in round 7. The Chiefs last defeated Saracens in May 2015 at Allianz Park but since then the Men in Black have been unbeaten in their last five matches against Exeter and have won five of their last seven encounters at Sandy Park.
One to Watch – Olly Woodburn
It’s been a memorable season for Olly Woodburn which has culminated in the winger being crowned Exeter’s Player of the Season, Supporters’ Player of the Season and being nominated for the Aviva Premiership Player of the Season. Woodburn has been a key part of an Exeter attack which has been firing on all front this season, crossing the white wash on 10 occasions and sitting third in the metres made stats for the season.
Last time out
The most recent encounter between the two sides saw the spoils shared as Saracens and Exeter played out a tense draw at Allianz Park. Chiefs led 10-3 at half time with Saracens down to 14 men after Richard Barrington’s red card but the north Londoners dug in deep in the second half and staged an impressive come back; a late Titi Lamositele try ensuring a 13-13 draw for the sides.
"There is everything to admire about Exeter. Firstly, any player who goes there, they get more out of the club, and that says a lot about the coaches, the infrastructure and spirit that Exeter have. The second most impressive thing is that they started this season not as well as they would have liked. There would have been a danger that their season would have fallen apart but the opposite happened. They have been on an incredible run. They are a top side with top players, well-coached, work hard, with a great spirit at the club so it will be quite a difficult challenge." – Mark McCall
Prop Ben Moon told the Exeter Chiefs website: “Saracens are a quality side, packed full of great players, but we’re a great side ourselves and we’ve got home advantage, so it’s a big opportunity for us. We know we are only 80 minutes from going back to Twickenham. It’s only one hard shift, so we’ve got to give it everything to try and get back there again.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (184th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys, Ross Campbell
TMO: Stuart Terheege
How to Follow
Screening – Allianz Park from 12H30. For more info and ticket prices click here
TV – Live on BT Sport, coverage from 13H45
Radio – BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, coverage from 14H15
Twitter - @saracens