Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Saracens 44 Leicester Tigers 17

Director of rugby Mark McCall insists he will have no trouble motivating his Saracens players for next weekend’s Aviva Premiership Rugby final against Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham as they seek to complete the double.

Saracens became European champions last weekend and followed up with a 44-17 defeat of Leicester Tigers to reach the Aviva Premiership Rugby final for a third year in a row.

Fears of any European hangover were dispelled when Saracens built a 31-point lead at the interval.

And McCall sees no reason why they will not keep their foot on the gas at Twickenham to seal more silverware.

“The players deserve enormous credit for being emotionally good,” he said.

“I don’t know if we were worthy of that kind of scoreline, even the first half seemed to be a lot tighter than that.

“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.

“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.

“We’re delighted to be in another final and there will be no problem getting the players up for it next week."

McCall anticipates fly-half Owen Farrell will be “fine”, despite having to leave the field with a hip injury following a heavy tackle.

The prognosis on England team-mate Manu Tuilagi, however, is not so good. Leicester Tigers director or rugby Richard Cockerill confirming he left the field midway through the first half with a hamstring injury, stating: “it’s not great for anybody at the moment.”

Leicester showed great spirit to make a contest of the semi-final in the second half, as they reduced their deficit to 14 points.

But a late Chris Ashton try ended any hopes of shell-shocking the hosts and Cockerill conceded his team were second best.

“We’re bitterly disappointed because we’re better than that, but no complaints, Saracens deserved to win,” he said.

“The first half killed us. We made errors, we forced the game and played into their hands.

“We didn’t execute. We made some good inroads and couldn’t finish.

“I’m disappointed in the way we gave away cheap points.

“We regrouped at half-time and got back in the game for a little bit and credit to the players. But we weren’t good enough.

“We’re developing our game, we’ve had a pretty good season. In the two big games in the semis we have not quite been good enough. Where we sit is probably about right at the moment.

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

“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: Goode, Ashton, Taylor (Bosch 52), Barritt, Wyles, Farrell (Hodgson 60), Wigglesworth (De Kock 57); M Vunipola (Barrington 69), Brits (George 47), Du Plessis (Figallo 54), Itoje, Kruis, Rhodes (Wray 60), Fraser, B Vunipola (Hamilton 72)

Leicester Tigers: Tait, Veainu, Betham (Bell 78), Tuilagi (Thompstone 21), Goneva, Williams, Youngs (Kitto 73); Ayerza (George 53), Thacker (Ghiraldini 45), Cole (Mulipola 65), Barrow, Kitchener (Slater 57), Fitzgerald (Evans 69), O’Connor, McCaffrey

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
 
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

Meet Sale Sharks’ Curry twins – Ben and Tom

When Tom and Ben Curry travel with the England squad to Argentina, they will be looking to claim a record…

Ben and Tom Curry

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Saracens make final as Bath fall short

Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens are into their third European Rugby Champions Cup final in four years after defying a…

Karl Dickson to retire at the end of the season

Harlequins scrum-half Karl Dickson has today (Monday 24th April) announced that he will retire from rugby at the end of…

Karl Dickson

Northampton Saints appoints new chief executive 

Northampton Saints has today announced that Mark Darbon is to be the club’s new chief executive. Darbon arrives at Franklin’s…

Mark Darbon

Donncha O’Callaghan signs new Worcester Warriors deal

Warriors are delighted to announce that British & Irish Lion Donncha O’Callaghan has signed a new deal with the Club.…

Donncha O'Callaghan

Match reaction: Stade Francais 28 Bath 25

Francois Louw praised Bath Rugby’s battling spirit but was left disappointed as they lost a dramatic European Challenge Cup semi-final…

Match Report: Stade Francais 28 Bath Rugby 25

Bath Rugby narrowly missed out setting up an all-Aviva Premiership Rugby final in the European Rugby Challenge Cup after a…

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Saracens and Gloucester Rugby celebrate Cup finals

Saracens and Gloucester Rugby are both celebrating places in this season’s European Rugby finals after the Aviva Premiership Rugby sides…

Match Reaction: La Rochelle 14 Gloucester Rugby 16

Gloucester Rugby director of rugby David Humphreys hailed his side’s ‘unbelievable effort’ as they produced a stirring defensive display to…

Match Reaction: Munster 10 Saracens 26

Mark McCall hailed Saracens’ amazing defence after they withstood a first-half assault against Munster and emerged victorious to book a…

Match Report: La Rochelle 14 Gloucester Rugby 16

Billy Burns scored all of Gloucester Rugby’s points and the Cherry & Whites produced an impressive defensive display to down…

Match Report: Munster 10 Saracens 26

Mako Vunipola and Chris Wyles scored vital tries as Saracens booked their place in the European Champions Cup final with…

Saracens ready for titanic Munster challenge

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is expecting little sign of weakness from Munster when the two sides clash in…

Sell-out crowds confirmed for Champions Cup semi-finals

The semi-finals of the European Rugby Champions Cup will be played in front of sell-out crowds in Dublin and Lyon…

Sell-out crowds confirmed for Champions Cup semi-finals