Dec 17, 2017
Sarries Cruelly Beaten at the Death
Saracens were unlucky to be beaten by Clermont as a late penalty clinched a 24-21 victory for the French side.
Sarries came out the blocks flying as two Owen Farrell penalties were supplemented by a converted Ben Spencer try to send the visitors into a strong early lead before Will Skelton was sent to the sin-bin on the half-hour mark.
Morgan Parra and Scott Spedding shared kicking duties for the hosts and were unerring with their accuracy as they clawed Sarries back to a one-point advantage at the interval.
Parra kicked two early second-half penalties before Farrell kicked one of his own for Sarries; then Nick Abendanon’s yellow card handed the away side back some momentum and Alex Lozowski capitalised with a try. However, two late penalties from the phenomenal Parra secured a win for the hosts.
Farrell opened the scoring for Saracens with a penalty in just the third minute of the game, the fly-half doubled Sarries’ lead with another penalty in the sixth minute as Sarries put the Clermont defence under good, sustained pressure.
The Men in Black scored their first try in the ninth minute, a great move forward from the team was supplemented by a great break through from Will Skelton; this set-up Spencer to make a sensational break.
The scrum-half stepped past the last man to score under the posts and set-up Farrell for a routine conversion attempt, he nailed it and gave Sarries an early 0-13 lead.
Parra and Spedding shared four penalty kicks during the remainder of a thrilling first-half as the French Champions bit back but Saracens retained their composure to go into the interval with a one-point lead of 12-13.
Parra kicked a further penalty for the home side in the 47th minute before a great scrum yielded a penalty which was converted once again by the French scrum-half.
Farrell kicked another penalty just before the hour mark before Abendanon was sent to the sin-bin for the hosts. The visitors capitalised with their second try of the match.
Alex Lozowski cut inside off a great Farrell pass, evading the last man before crossing the whitewash to score a well-deserved try for the visitors to nudge them back into a three-point lead.
Parra added a further penalty from under the posts to tie the scores with ten minutes to play before a late penalty by Spedding from distance clinched what was a remarkable game.
Alex Goode, Sean Maitland(Koch 67'-76') ), Marcelo Bosch, Alex Lozowski, Chris Wyles (Earle (58'); Owen Farrell, Ben Spencer (Whiteley (80'); Mako Vunipola (Barrington 73'), Jamie George (Tolofua 67'), Vincent Koch (Figallo 54'), Will Skelton (Burger 54'), George Kruis, Nick Isiekwe (Earl 58), Calum Clark, Jackson Wray
Replacements: Christopher Tolofua, Richard Barrington, Juan Figallo, Schalk Berger, Ben Earl, Tom Whiteley, Nick Tomkins, Nathan Earle.
Tries Spencer (10'),Lozowski (63').
Conversions Farrell 1/2
Penalties Farrell 3/3
Yellow card Skeleton (32'), Figallo(66')
ASM Clermont Auvergne
Scott Spedding; David Strettle q, Damian Penaud (Betham (27'), Wesley Fofana, Alivereti Raka( Abendanon (27'); Isaiah Toeava, Morgan Parra (c); Etienne Falgoux (Chaume(43), Benjamin Kayser (Ulugia 49'), Rabah Slimani, Flip Van de Merwe, Sébastien Vahaamahina, Peceli Yatto, Alexandre Lapandry (Koleishvili 73), Fritz Lee
Replacements: John Ulugia, Raphael Chaume, Aaron Jarvis, Paul Jedrasiak, Victor Koleishvili, Charly Trussardi, Peter Bentham, Nick Abendanon.
Penalties Parra 6/7.Spedding 2/2.
Yellow card Abendanon(60').