TOP BAR - Fixtures

Owen Farrell and the Vunipola brothers star in Saracens’ Champions Cup success

Owen Farrell added further gloss to his sublime individual season by helping inspire Saracens to a second successive European Rugby Champions Cup at BT Murrayfield.

The England fly-half booted 13 points to lead the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finalists to a 28-17 victory over Clermont Auvergne and cemented his position as the competition’s star performer this term.

In fact, the 25-year-old was named the EPCR European Player of the Year and beat team-mate Maro Itoje – last year’s winner – Clermont’s Camille Lopez, Leinster’s Garry Ringrose and Munster’s CJ Stander to become the first recipient of the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.

Farrell was this season’s top points-scorer in the Champions Cup and his haul in Saturday’s showpiece took him to 126, 29 ahead of his nearest competitor Tyler Bleyendaal of Munster.

Having split the posts 47 times, the British & Irish Lion kicked more goals than anyone else, boasting an 82 per cent success rate, while he was also joint-top for try assists with seven, sharing first-place with Clermont’s Camille Lopez.

The final’s man-of-the-match award went to No. 8 Billy Vunipola but his brother Mako also made a big impression.

The duo combined for 36 carries, 20 of them from Billy, and 22 tackles, 14 of which belonged to loosehead prop Mako, to spearhead Saracens’ victory.

In addition, Billy beat eight defenders and made 78m – more than any other player in his side – while neither of the brothers missed a tackle all game.

Billy finished the competition joint-second for defenders beaten with 28 in his five Champions Cup appearances and fourth in the list of top carriers (80).

Chris Ashton got the ball rolling with Saracens’ first try of the game and that placed him joint-second alongside Clermont’s Nick Abendanon, who also dotted down in the final, with six competition scores.

Itoje made 11 tackles while hooker Jamie George pulled off ten during his 50 minutes on the field.

Meanwhile, Gloucester Rugby were unable to taste glory in Friday night’s Challenge Cup final, going down 25-17 at the hands of Stade Francais in Edinburgh.

Wing Jonny May, who crossed the whitewash in the 13th minute to open the scoring, made 105 metres – more than any other player on the pitch – while team-mate Ben Morgan carried the ball more times than anyone else (15).

Josh Hohneck and Lewis Ludlow both did their best to keep Stade at bay as they both pulled off ten tackles apiece but their efforts weren’t enough to prevent an eight-point defeat.

Selected top performers

Points scored

Owen Farrell (Saracens) – 13

Billy Burns (Gloucester Rugby) – 7

Morgan Parra (Clermont Auvergne) – 7

Ball carries

Billy Vunipola (Saracens) – 20

Scott Spedding (Clermont Auvergne) – 17

Mako Vunipola (Saracens) – 16

Metres made

Scott Spedding (Clermont Auvergne) – 134

Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby) – 105

Damien Chouly (Clermont Auvergne) – 102

Tackles

Jonathan Ross (Stade Francais) – 20

Remi Lamerat (Clermont Auvergne) – 19

Fritz Lee (Clermont Auvergne) – 17

Mako Vunipola (Saracens) – 14

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 27 May at Twickenham are now on sale. If you want to have an unforgettable day out at club rugby’s best Cup Final then click here for tickets.

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