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Match Report: Saracens 38 Glasgow Warriors 13

Saracens kept the Aviva Premiership Rugby flag flying in the European Champions Cup with an imperious 38-13 victory over Glasgow Warriors.

The hosts shot out of the blocks at Allianz Park, and after three Owen Farrell penalties it was Chris Ashton’s try that gave Saracens a 14-3 lead – Finn Russell’s penalty all Warriors could muster in the first half.

And while Lee Jones handed the Scots a lifeline early in the second half, up popped Marcelo Bosch, Brad Barritt, and Ashton again to put the quarter-final to bed for the Aviva Premiership Rugby champions.

The hosts picked up just where they left off after a humbling of league rivals Bath Rugby last time out, building the phases deep into Glasgow territory early on, with a brilliant delayed pass from Farrell releasing Sean Maitland.

And Ashton thought he had finished off the thrilling move in the corner, but the TMO confirmed he had just been forced into touch.

The unstoppable Wolfpack came so close again just moments later – Jamie George, Farrell, and Ashton again all involved in a wonderful attacking move – but Maitland was just forced into touch by Scottish teammate Stuart Hogg.

Mark McCall’s men were finally rewarded for their pressure when Farrell knocked over a ninth-minute penalty, but Finn Russell levelled things up for Glasgow against the run of play almost immediately with Sarries guilty of not releasing.

Rob Harley was pinged for high tackle three minutes later and Farrell put his side back in front, although his radar was slightly off on 23 minutes as he dragged a tricky 40-metre effort wide from the tee.

But with the Warriors not releasing again moments later, the England international struck a simpler chance straight through the uprights to make it 9-3.

And Saracens finally had the try they craved on the half-hour mark, with Ashton the man to deliver with a superb finish.

Another brilliant attacking move ended with an offload from Barritt, and Ashton beat three defenders to somehow get the ball down over the whitewash – although Farrell could not convert from the touchline.

Going for broke the Warriors missed touch with a penalty, and only just survived another score before the interval – with that man Ashton denied for a second time by the TMO, after putting his foot in touch when a big Michael Rhodes break had put Sarries in position.

The visitors were much improved at the start of the second period and looked dangerous, with Jackson Wray and Bosch having to put in some eye-watering tackles in defence.

And Glasgow burst into life on 48 minutes from a scrum, Finn Russell putting an inch-perfect chip over the top for wing Jones, who did not have to break stride and cut inside to score.

Russell’s conversion attempt clipped the outside of the post, but at 14-8 the Warriors were in striking distance of the Aviva Premiership Rugby champions.

Schalk Brits came off the bench before the hour mark and immediately made a searing break from deep in his own territory to the halfway line, and that seemed to spark Sarries into life with Bosch celebrating a try moments later.

The Argentinean gathered an offload from Brits and produced a fine finish which allowed Farrell an easy conversion.

Another penalty from Farrell stretched the advantage, but Saracens were in full flow now and came so close to a magnificent length-of-the-field team score on 71 minutes, with Maitland held up.

However, the hosts won a scrum against the head five metres out and put the ball through the hands again, with Barritt cutting a great line to score the decisive try.

A frantic end to the contest saw both Ashton finish in the corner and Ryan Wilson make a destructive carry to add a consolation score for Glasgow, but it will be Saracens who take on Munster in the Champions Cup semi-finals.

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is 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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