Geordan Murphy believes experience showed as Leicester Tigers booked their spot in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final with a 32-10 win away at Saracens.
Freddie Burns was the star of the show as he scored one try, kicked three conversions and two penalties in the convincing victory.
George Worth, Luke Hamilton and Ellis Genge also crossed for the Tigers, while Henry Taylor and Matt Gallagher scored for the hosts.
And Murphy hailed his side for dealing with Saracens’ pressure and ensuring they will face either Exeter Chiefs or Harlequins in next Sunday’s final at Twickenham Stoop.
— Gengey (@EllisGenge) March 11, 2017
Murphy said: “We had a lot of experience out there and the boys got stuck in and played for each other.
“It was important that we got the first score as Saracens can put you under a lot of pressure if they go ahead as it proved in the league fixture here.
“So we focused on that and our forwards deserve a lot of credit by controlling things as some of them have been out for a considerable period and badly needed game time.”
It was Saracens’ first home defeat in over a year, also seeing them missing out on reclaiming the trophy that they had been defending when beating Exeter Chiefs in 2015.
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) March 11, 2017
Yet despite the disappointment, academy coach Ian Vass says the experience the players gained is more important.
“It’s our first loss at Allianz Park in over a year but it wasn’t all about winning or losing,” he said.
“It was important for this group to have the experience of playing in a semi-final as they are a whole new group from the one that won this competition two years ago.
“We are frustrated as we never really got into the match for the breakdown area was a mess and it didn’t help the flow of the game.”
Saracens: Gallagher, Ellery, Streather ,Tompkins, Earle (Perkins 69), Whiteley (Lozowski 51), Taylor (De Kock 51), Barrington (Thompson-Stringer 49), Saunders (Lindsay 64), Koch (Lamositele 49), Lemalu, Flanagan (Isiekwe 56), Brown, Conlon, Vunisa (Burger 49)
Leicester Tigers: Worth, Brady, Tait, Roberts, Pietersen (Thacker 73), Burns (Williams 71), Kitto (White 55), Genge (Rizzo 63), McGuigan (Owen 73), Balmain (Bateman 63), Wells, Kitchener (Maksymiw 66), Hamilton, Thacker, McCaffrey (Croft 69)
Tries: Taylor, Gallagher
Tries: Worth, Hamilton, Genge, Burns
Conversions: Burns 3
Penalties: Burns 2
Referee: Luke Pearce