Jan 16, 2016
Saracens Book Quarter Final Spot With Win Over Ulster
Saracens secured their place in the knock stages of the European Champions Cup with a four try 33-17 win over Ulster at Allianz Park.
Despite falling behind to a Luke Marshall try, Sarries battled back to book their place in the knock out stages with tries from Billy Vunipola, Duncan Taylor, Maro Itoje and replacement hooker Schalk Brits.
There is no other team in Europe Saracens have played against in the European Cup than Ulster, and once again the Men in Black enjoyed another success over the Irish province as they weathered an early storm to win their 12th game on 13 Champions Cup fixtures.
After Owen Farrell’s opening penalty, Ulster took an early lead when Luke Marshall collected a Jared Payne grubber kick to score in the first ten minutes.
Owen Farrell added another penalty after two minutes to pin Ulster’s lead to one point before Billy Vunipola blasted over for his side’s first try of the game on the back a strong driving maul just before half-time to give Saracens a 13-7 lead at the break.
After the half-time hiatus Sarries cut loose, with Duncan Taylor, Maro Itoje and Schalk Brits all crossing for first half tries.
Taylor’s try was thanks to his fly-half’s genius. Owen Farrell evaded the Ulster defence to wriggle his way through the Ulster defence after a superb dummy, he then showed fine acceleration to breeze through the line before passing to Taylor in support.
After Taylor’s score, Maro Itoje crossed before Schalk Brits wrapped up the bonus point with a well taken try on the back of another powerful Saracens maul.
Replacement fly-half Ian Humphreys raced away for an intercept score late on for Ulster, but that would only be a consolation try as Sarries saw out the contest with ease.
Saracens team: Ben Ransom; Chris Ashton, Marcelo Bosch,Duncan Taylor, Chris Wyles; Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Petrus du Plessis, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Michael Rhodes, Will Fraser, Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: Schalk Brits, Richard Barrington, Juan Figallo, Jim Hamilton, Jackson Wray, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Nick Tompkins.
Replacements used: Brits for George(57); Barrington for M.Vunipola(66); Figallo for Du Plessis(57);Wray for Fraser(63);De Kock for Wigglesworth(63); Hodgson for Ransom(62);Tompkins for Bosch(72).
Scores Tries B.Vunipola(38);Taylor(53);Itoje(59);Brits(63).
Cons Farrell x 2
Penalties Farrell x 3
Ulster Rugby: Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Kyle McCall, Rory Best (c), Wiehahn Herbst, Alan O'Connor, Franco Van Der Merwe, Robbie Diack, Sean Reidy, Roger Wilson.
Replacements: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Lewis Stevenson, Clive Ross, Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys, Rory Scholes.
Replacements used Herring for Best(62);Black for McCall(75);Lutton for Herbst(36);Stevenson for O'Connor(75); Ross for Van Der Merwe(67);
P.Marshall for Pienaar(76);Humphreys for Jackson(62);Scholes for L.Marshall.
Scores Tries L.Marshall(5);Humphreys(71).