Fixtures - Top Bar

Aviva Premiership Rugby round up: Semi-Finals

Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall believes his side have work to do if they’re to secure a historic double against Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham on Saturday.

McCall’s troops cruised past Leicester Tigers 44-17 at Allianz Park on Saturday to book their place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby final having won the European Champions Cup last week.

And McCall admitted he was relieved not to suffer any European hangover against the Tigers, as they look to retain the title they beat Bath Rugby to in last year’s showpiece.

“It's great to have won the match and great to have won the [European] final, but I think there is going to be some lessons for us and some areas for us to improve,” he said.

“This is the week I was worried about because the players celebrated, as they should have done, after the final for a couple of days. 

“Leicester had had some time to prepare for this game, we had a shorter preparation time, so I was worried.”

There was also delight for Exeter Chiefs who reached their first Aviva Premiership Final with a hard-fought 34-23 victory over Wasps at Sandy Park.

And Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter believes the achievement of reaching a Twickenham final is just another step on a long journey for the players.

“The lads who played have made a name for themselves,” he said.

“They are a little bit further up the ladder than they were before, and the club is a little bit further up the ladder.

“What we need to remember about this club is what gives us the backbone and the foundations we've got is that we had to spend a lot of time being tough and dealing with being second and not winning everything, and saying that one day we wanted to be a very successful rugby club.

“This won't feel like a shock to the players. It will feel like the next step they wanted to take.”

It was the second semi-final defeat of the season for Wasps and Leicester Tigers, who were both beaten, by Saracens and Racing 92 respectively, at the same stage of the European Champions Cup.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young had no complaints over the Exeter result and backed his team to bounce back next season.

“We knew they (Exeter) are a good team, and they proved that," Young said. 

“You have only got to look at Saracens in Europe. Sometimes, you have got to keep knocking that door, and it might be a year or two before it opens, but in the end it will open.

“We have got to make sure we stick in there.”

Leicester Tigers director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, was also confident his team were progressing in the right direction to be challenging for silverware in the coming seasons.

“We have got to learn from the two semi-final defeats this year and come back stronger next year having grown our game,” he said.

“You've got to take these painful parts, because at some point over the next couple of years we'll get it right and win something and these are the experiences you have to learn from."

Saracens
Tries: Fraser, Wyles 2, Ashton 2
Conversions: Farrell 4, Hodgson
Penalties: Farrell, Hodgson 2

Leicester Tigers
Tries: Veainu, Barrow
Conversions: Williams 2
Penalties: Williams

Referee: John Paul Doyle
Attendance: 9,932

Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Whitten, Penalty 2, Ewers
Conversions: Steenson 4
Penalties: Steenson 2

Wasps
Tries: Festuccia, Robson
Conversions: Gopperth 2
Penalties: Gopperth 3

Attendance: 12,604
Referee: Greg Garner

If you want to be at the world's biggest club rugby final, this year's Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 28 May at Twickenham, tickets are available from premiershiprugby.com/final

Latest News

Aviva Premiership Rugby Weekend Round-up

Christian Wade made the difference, according to director of rugby Dai Young, as Wasps booked their place in the Aviva…

Match Reaction: Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has urged improvement from his side after they were given a scare by Worcester Warriors on…

Match Reaction: Saracens 53 Bath Rugby 10

Brad Barritt believes Saracens’ desire not to take their foot off the pedal proved the decisive factor as an eight-try…

Match Report: Saracens 53 Bath Rugby 10

Chris Ashton scored twice to become the record scorer at Allianz Park as Saracens enjoyed a fruitful afternoon to keep…

Match Report: Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

Wasps extended their advantage at the top of Aviva Premiership Rugby with a hard-fought victory over Worcester Warriors in an…

Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 30 Sale Sharks 25

His side may have gone level on points with Wasps atop the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, but Exeter Chiefs coach…

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 31 Leicester Tigers 36

Leicester Tigers sent off Aaron Mauger in fine style with a thrilling win at Franklin’s Gardens and Geordan Murphy believed it…

Match Reaction: Harlequins 53 Newcastle Falcons 17

Returning England stars Mike Brown, Danny Care and Marland Yarde may have shone for Harlequins in their 53-17 victory over…

AUDIO: Northampton Saints 31 Leicester Tigers 36

A major East Midlands derby at Franklins Gardens with it all to play for! Simon Ward was there……. Afterwards Andrew…

Match Report: Northampton Saints 31 Leicester Tigers 36

Owen Williams kicked two penalties in the last three minutes to give Leicester Tigers victory in an East Midlands thriller…