May 28, 2016
Saracens Defeat Exeter To Secure Historic Season Double
Saracens secured the Aviva Premiership title and a historic European and domestic double with a hard-fought 28-20 victory over the Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham.
First half tries from Duncan Taylor and Chris Wyles paired with 13 points from Owen Farrell gave Mark McCall’s side a commanding 23-6 lead at the break.
But the second-half belonged to Exeter with Jack Yeandle and Jack Nowell both crossing the whitewash to get their side within touching distance of the title, before an Alex Goode try four minutes from time sealed the victory for the North London club.
It was the boot of fly-half Farrell that got the scoreboard rolling after just two minutes, after a positive start from the reigning Champions earned themselves a shot at goal.
Farrell further punished Exeter’s indiscipline six minutes later, when they crept offside deep inside their own 22, the 24-year-old fly half making no mistake with the effort in front of the posts.
Exeter’s account got up and running as the game entered the second quarter, Michael Rhodes being penalised at the breakdown and Steenson duly obliging off the tee.
Seven minutes before the break the game was brought to life as Saracens crossed for the first try of the match. A superb break from Schalk Brits saw Saracens roar into the Chiefs 22 before Farrell’s perfectly weighted grubber kick unleashed Duncan Taylor on the outside, the centre doing the rest.
The Chiefs were handed a second blow just minutes later when a floated pass out wide found Chris Wyles, who jinxed his way through a seemingly rock-solid Exeter defence before blasting his way over the try line.
Farrell and Steenson traded shots at goal before the break sending Saracens into the break with a commanding 23-6 lead.
Exeter came out firing in the second-half and it was their most potent weapon, their driving maul, which got Rob Baxter’s men back into the game. Jack Yeandle the man who emerged from the bottom of a pile of bodies over the line to take the plaudits and bring his side back within 10 points of the table-toppers.
The Chiefs continued to pile the pressure on the men in black as the game entered the final 10 minutes and got their just rewards when a well-worked backs move sent Jack Nowell over in the corner, Steenson duly adding the extras bringing the Chiefs to within three.
However, it was Saracens that struck back to seal the victory just four minutes from time when Alex Goode stretched over the line, capping off a fine season and securing the Aviva Premiership title and a historic double for the North London club.
15 Alex Goode; 14 Chris Ashton; 13 Duncan Taylor; 12 Brad Barritt (c); 11 Chris Wyles; 10 Owen Farrell; 9 Richard Wigglesworth; 1 Mako Vunipola; 2 Schalk Brits; 3 Petrus Du Plessis; 4 Maro Itoje; 5 George Kruis; 6 Michael Rhodes; 7 Will Fraser;8 Billy Vunipola:
Replacements; 16 Jamie George; 17 Richard Barrington; 18 Juan Figallo;19 Jim Hamilton; 20 Jackson Wray; 21 Neil De Kock; 22 Charlie Hodgson; 23 Marcelo Bosch:
Scores Tries Taylor; Wyles; Goode:
Cons Farrell x 2:
Penalties Farrell x 3:
Replacements used: George for Brits(52); Barrington for M.Vunipola(66); Figallo for Du Plessis(52);
Hamilton for Frazer(71); Wray for Rhodes(52); De Kock for Wigglesworth(68); Hodgson for Farrell(68);
Bosch for Taylor(75)
15 Phil Dollman; 14 Jack Nowell; 13 Henry Slade; 12 Ian Whitten; 11 Olly Woodburn; 10 Gareth Steenson (capt); 9 Will Chudley; 1 Ben Moon; 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie; 3 Harry Williams; 4 Mitch Lees; 5 Geoff Parling; 6 Dave Ewers; 7 Julian Salvi; 8 Don Armand;
Replacements; 16 Jack Yeandle; 17 Alec Hepburn; 18 Tomas Francis; 19 Damian Welch;
20 Kai Horstmann; 21 Dave Lewis; 22 Michele Campagnaro; 23 James Short:
Scores:Tries Hepburn; Nowell:
Cons Steenson x 2:
Penalties Steenson x 2:
Replacements used Yeandle for Cowan-Dickie(47); Cowan-Dickie for Yeandle(68);
Hepburn for Moon(47); Francis for Williams(47); Welch for Parling(64); Horstmann for Salvi(61);
Lewis for Chudley(65); Campagnaro for Whitten(68); Short for Woodburn(56):
Scoring sequence: 3-0; 6-0; 6-3; 9-3; 16-3; 23-3; 23-6; 23-13; 23-20; 28-20:
Man of the Match Alex Goode.