Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Saracens 24 Northampton Saints 20

DavidStrettleSaracensSaintsLV1415SB1005

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

Match officials for this weekend’s European rugby

Welsh referee Nigel Owens will be the man in the middle when Saracens face Toulon in a heavyweight clash in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Mike Phillips: Sale Sharks improvements will lead to wins

Mike Phillips is adamant Sale Sharks’ performance against French giants Toulon proves that an end to their losing run is…

mphillips-sale-0311

Alex Lozowski, Mike Haley, Jack Nowell, Tom Wood, Matt Cox and George Ford star in OPTA’s European stats

Chris Ashton’s late try broke Scarlets hearts as Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens extended their unbeaten run in Europe with…

alexlozowskisarrieseurope1617sb1111

Graham Kitchener: Leicester Tigers pride is still burning bright

Leicester Tigers are already out of contention for the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-finals with a round still to come…

Graham Kitchener

Worcester Warriors will move on from Brive loss, says Matthew Cox

Forward Matthew Cox insists Worcester Warriors are moving on from their heartbreaking last-gasp defeat to Brive as they prepare for…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Tom Bristow: Dai Young has created a great spirit at Wasps

Tom Bristow has hailed director of rugby Dai Young for creating a sense of togetherness at Wasps after their last-gasp…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Rugby’s most comprehensive injury study published

The Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project (PRISP) report for the 2015-16 season has been published. The project is the most…

Premiership Rugby Balls

Worcester Warriors sign Northampton Saints’ Ethan Waller

Worcester Warriors are delighted to announce the signing of Northampton Saints prop Ethan Waller. The loosehead will move to Sixways…

Ethan Waller

Calum Clark signs for Saracens

Saracens are delighted to announce that flanker Calum Clark will join the club. Clark will move to Allianz Park from…

Calum Clark

Ross Batty hopes hooking battle can help Bath Rugby push on

Bath Rugby hooker Ross Batty insists the competition across Todd Blackadder’s squad will help them continue to bounce back from…

Ross Batty breaks away for a score against Wasps.

Nick De Luca extends Wasps contract until end of season, before retiring from professional rugby

Scotland international centre Nick De Luca has extended his contract with Wasps until the end of the season, at which…

Nick De Luca

Aviva Premiership Rugby European Round-up: Saracens, Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs

Mark McCall praised his ‘phenomenal’ captain Owen Farrell after Chris Ashton’s brace helped Saracens come from from 22-15 down in…

LLANELLI, WALES - JANUARY 15:  Saracens fly half Owen Farrell breaks a tackle on his way to setting up the final Saracens try during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Scarlets and Sarcens at Parc y Scarlets on January 15, 2017 in Llanelli, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Aviva Premiership Rugby European Round-up: Gloucester Rugby, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, Northampton Saints, Wasps, Worcester Warriors

Dai Young hailed his side’s spirit after Wasps fought back to secure a dramatic 17-14 European Cup victory over Toulouse…

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Young referees get recognition at packed Franklin’s Gardens

Young referees from the East Midlands were centre stage at Franklin’s Gardens at the start of the New Year, as…

Northampton Saints referees

Bath Rugby contract extensions for front row duo

Bath Rugby is delighted to announce that hooker Ross Batty and prop Max Lahiff have signed contract extensions that will…

Ross Batty

New Laws film as part of Ricoh Rugby Change Series

Global technology company, Ricoh has today launched the third video in their Rugby Change Series. The latest video, Laws, focuses…

New Laws Film

Challenge Cup – Benetton Treviso v Gloucester Rugby: kick-off delayed

The kick-off of today's Challenge Cup, Round 5 match between Benetton Treviso and Gloucester Rugby has been delayed until 17.00…

Aviva Premiership Rugby European Round-up: Bath Rugby, Bristol Rugby and Newcastle Falcons

Todd Blackadder attributed Bath Rugby’s 57-22 victory over league rivals Bristol Rugby to entering the game with exactly the right…

semesarokodoguni17sb1111

Rugby clubs benefit from the Aviva Community Fund

Premiership Rugby is this season immensely proud to have helped raise awareness of the Aviva Community Fund, which offers support…

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25:  Brad Barritt, Captain of Saracens, holds the Aviva Premiership Trophy, as the twelve Captains form a heart shape at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Season Launch at Twickenham Stadium on August 25, 2016 in London. The heart shape symbolises the Aviva Community Fund initiative which launches on 13 September 2016. The initiative lends a helping hand to local communities, including grassroots sports clubs, by offering funding of up to £25,000. during the Aviva Premiership Rugby 2016-2017 Season Launch at Twickenham Stadium on August 25, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Aviva)

Jonny May excited by free-scoring Gloucester Rugby’s potential

Gloucester Rugby flyer Jonny May admits the Cherry & Whites side that humbled Worcester Warriors last weekend in Aviva Premiership…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library