Jan 22, 2018
Saracens round off successful six weeks with qualification for Champions Cup quarter finals
Following on from a thrilling weekend of Champions Cup rugby, which included Saracens’ seven try triumph over Northampton Saints, the men in black have secured qualification in to the quarter final stages of the competition.
Qualification comes at the end of a successful six weeks for Mark McCall’s men which has seen them regroup after their round three defeat at home to Clermont to achieve a run of three wins, one draw and one narrow loss across all competitions. Stand out performances have included an impressive Christmas Eve win away at Leicester, another key away win at Wasps and of course Saturday’s clinical performance at home to Northampton Saints.
Saturday’s performance in particular illustrated the strength in depth of the Saracens squad. The experienced Schalk Burger topped the Saracens’ carries chart while at the other end of the spectrum it was youngster Nick Isiekwe who topped the team’s tackle count. The impact of the Saracens bench on the day was also clear with Nathan Earle and debutant number eight Sione Vailanu topping the metres made tally. Earle (106) and Vailanu (39) together made 40% of Sarries’ total metres made (361). Saturday’s fixture also marked two impressive milestones for key members of the squad. Alex Goode, a Saracens man through and through, scored a try to mark his 250th appearance for the club while captain Brad Barritt lead from the front once again as he notched up his 50th appearance in Champions Cup rugby.
Saracens will now prepare to travel to Leinster in the quarter finals. The Irish side topped the qualifications standing and will welcome the men in black to the Aviva Stadium on the weekend of 31st March/1st April. It will be the second time in two seasons Saracens have headed to the Aviva Stadium in the knock out stages of the Champions Cup; the north London side achieved a hard fought win over Munster in the semi finals at the same stadium last season.
Full fixture details are expected to be confirmed this week by EPCR with an update on ticketing following from Saracens.