May 13, 2017
REPORT: Sarries Lift Second Successive Champions Cup
Saracens sealed back-to-back European titles with a 28-17 win over Clermont Auvergne at Murrayfield on Saturday afternoon.
Chris Ashton opened the scoring for Sarries with a try that beat the all-time European try-scoring record previously held by Vincent Clerc. George Kruis added a second not long after as the Men in Black dominated the opening exchanges.
Clermont rallied though and scored through Remi Lamerat to bring the French side to within five points at half-time. After half-time, an Owen Farrell kick extended Sarries’ lead before former European Player of the Year Nick Abendanon’s try brought the deficit to within one point.
However, Sarries were too strong in the closing stages and penned Clermont back in their own ’22. Alex Goode scored what was a fully deserved try to win the game for sarries and send them a record 18 European games unbeaten as well as their second successive rown.
Chris Ashton scored the first try of the game in the 12th minute. A sublime kick through from Alex Goode bounced perfectly into the path of Ashton to touch down in the corner and score a record 37th European Try. Owen Farrell’s conversion attempt struck the upright to leave the score 5-0.
In the 21st minute, Sarries scored their second try, the ball was moved superbly through the phases before Goode broke through to take the Men in Black within inches of the line. George Kruis picked the ball up from two metres out before powering over the line. Farrell converted to make the score 12-0.
Clermont struck back in the 27th minute, Aurelien Rougerie broke through before the ball was moved onto his centre partner Remi Lamerat who dotted down. Morgan Parra converted to make the score 12-7.
In the 50th minute, Farrell knocked over the simplest of penalties from just six metres out to extend Saracens’ lead to eight points. However, Clermont his back with a try of their own just two minutes later. Nick Abendanon stole in on the left-wing to touch down before Parra converted, taking the score to 15-14.
Farrell scored another penalty after a Clermont infringement in the 57th minute to take the score up to 18-14. Three minutes later, Parra scored a penalty for the visitors to cut the gap to a singular point and leave the game on a knife-edge for the closing quarter.
Controversy reigned with 14 minutes to play as a fantastic sequence of play from Sarries gave them a brilliant chance with men out wide. Schalk Burger’s pass out to the wing was knocked forward by Camille Lopez with the try looking certain. Nigel Owens chose to award a knock-on rather than a penalty try.
Saracens sealed victory with a try from Alex Goode in the 74th minute, the full-back picked a perfect line through the Clermont defence before powering past the despairing tackles to touch down and score. Farrell converted from out wide before adding a late penalty to make the final score a fantastic 28-17 to Saracens, sealing back-to-back European titles.
15.Alex Goode; 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 12. Brad Barritt, (Taylor 54), 11. Chris Wyles, (Lozowski (79); 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Richard Wigglesworth (Spencer 79); 1. Mako Vunipola, ( Lamositele 77), 2. Jamie George( Brits 51), 3. Vincent Koch( Du Plessis 79), 4. Maro Itoje( Hamilton 79), 5. George Kruis, 6. Michael Rhodes, 7. Jackson Wray( Burger 61), 8. Billy Vunipola
Replacements: 16. Schalk Brits, 17. Titi Lamositele, 18. Petrus du Plessis, 19. Jim Hamilton, 20. Schalk Burger, 21. Ben Spencer, 22. Alex Lozowski, 23. Duncan Taylor
Scores Tries Ashton (13); Kruis (22); Goode (73):
Cons Farrell 2/3
Penalties Farrell 3
15. Scott Spedding, (Fernandez 71); 14. David Strettle, 13. Aurélien Rougerie, ( Penaud 55), 12. Remi Lamerat, 11. Nick Abendanon; 10. Camille Lopez, 9. Morgan Parra, ( Radosavljevic 76); 1. Raphael Chaume, ( Falgoux 22-26 & 55), 2. Benjamin Kayser, ( Ulugia 67), 3. Davit Zirakashvili, ( Jarvis 77), 4. Arthur Iturria, 5. Sébastien Vahaamahina (Jedrasiak 46), 6. Damien Chouly, 7. Peceli Yato( Lapendry 62), 8. Fritz Lee
Replacements: 16. John Ulugia, 17. Etienne Falgoux, 18. Aaron Jarvis, 19. Paul Jedrasiak, 20. Alexandre Lapandry, 21. Ludovic Radosavljevic, 22. Pato Fernandez, 23. Damian Penaud
Scores Tries Lamerat (27); Abendanon (52):
Cons Parra 2
Penalties Parra 1/2
Scoring Sequence 5-0 Ashton try; 10-0 Kruis try; 12-0 Farrell con; 12-5 Lamerat try; 12-7 Parra con; 15-7 Farrell pen; 15-12 Abendanon try; 15-14 Parra con; 18-14 Farrell pen; 18-17 Parra pen; 23-17 Goode try; 25-17 Farrell con; 28-17 Farrell pen:
Man of the Match: Owen Farrell