Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Saracens 24 Northampton Saints 20

Saracens starlet Maro Itoje insists his side went into the break knowing they could turn the game around in the second half after the Londoners reached their first LV= Cup final at the expense of Northampton Saints.

The 24-20 defeat is even harder to take for Jim Mallinder’s men considering a Franklin’s Gardens final was in their sights after a dominant first half.

Young fly-half Sam Olver scooped up 13 points with a try, conversion and two penalties, though the lethal David Strettle did strike with a converted try.

Mike Ellery’s superb break and finish then woke Sarries up from their slumber in the second half, with Saints becoming increasingly sloppy and allowing Ben Spencer to slot through three penalties.

Lee Dickson came off the bench and dotted down to make things dicey for Saracens in the final 20 minutes, but a Nils Mordt drop-goal and some last-ditch defending saw them through.

And skipper Itoje said: “Saints are a top team and we know they’re not at the top of the Premiership for no reason, top teams have quality individuals and I’m just so happy we were able to get the result we wanted.

“(The second half) was exactly what we needed, we had the wind behind us and we knew it was going to be a little bit easier. But saying that we still had to work hard to get what we wanted. So I’m really happy with the result.

“It’s a special moment, not just for me, I have five, six, seven quality generals and quality leaders in that team.

“Without their help and without their guidance, their leadership, I wouldn’t be able to do my job. So I’d like to thank those individuals for helping me out.”

Saints still have much to play for this season – not at least as pacesetters at the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table – but Mallinder admits a Franklin’s Gardens final would have been a special occasion.

"To have the final at Franklin's Gardens would have been ideal as it's something we have been targeting,” he said.

"We should have been further ahead at the interval and then to concede Ellery's try so soon after the interval was a killer blow.

"Sarries played well in slowing our ball down, but we didn't play well enough over the whole 80 minutes."
 
Saracens: Ransom; Ellery, Bosch, Streather, Strettle; Mordt, Spencer; Gill (Barrington 51), Saunders (Spurling 51), Figallo (Alo 72); Itoje, Smith (Kruis 24); de Jager, Hankin (Brown 66), Joubert
Replacements not used: Whiteley, Palamo, Fercu
 
Northampton Saints: Tuala (Wilson 72); Elliott, Stephenson, Waldouck, Collins; Olver (Myler 60), Fotuali’I (Dickson 60); Corbisiero (Waller 61), Haywood (Williams 72), Ma’afu (Denman 55); Manoa, Ryder (Nutley 72); Fisher (Clark 55), Dowson, Dickinson
Saracens 24 Northampton Saints 20
 
Saracens
Tries: Strettle, Ellery
Conversions: Spencer
Penalties: Spencer 3
Drop-goal Mordt
 
Northampton Saints
Tries: Olver, Dickson
Conversions: Olver, Myler
Penalties: Olver 2

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final are selling faster than this time last year so with just five rounds to go, now’s the time to click here to book your place at the world’s biggest club rugby final.
 

Latest News

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…

Match Report: England U20s 17 New Zealand U20s 64

New Zealand ran in ten tries as they overpowered England in the final of the World Rugby Under 20s championship…

Aviva Premiership Rugby stars see home nations complete clean sweep

It’s been a busy weekend of international rugby and there were plenty of stand-out performances from a whole host of…

Supreme England secure series win in Argentina

Will Collier scored the winning try as England secured a hard-fought 2-0 series win against Argentina in another enthralling Test match.…

England name team for World Rugby U20 Championship final

England have named their team for the World Rugby U20 Championship final against New Zealand on Sunday (kick-off 3pm BST,…

Itoje scores vital try as Lions roar past Maori All Blacks

Maro Itoje scored his first British & Irish Lions try as Warren Gatland’s men laid down a marker for the…