Match Reaction: Leinster 30 Saracens 19
Saracens will have their focus solely on the Aviva Premiership Rugby title after being knocked out of the European Champions Cup by Leinster.
Tries from Garry Ringrose, Dan Leavy and James Lowe helped Leinster to a 30-19 success and the Irish province will face Scarlets in the semi-finals.
Blair Cowan went over for Saracens, with Owen Farrell kicking 11 points, but their two-year reign as European Champions came to an end at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Man of the match – Dan Leavy
Ireland flanker Dan Leavy was named man of the match for his fine performance which saw him make 82 metres as well as scoring a crucial try.
And the 23-year-old paid tribute to the Saracens team, who were gunning for a third straight European Champions Cup title, at the full-time whistle.
Leavy said: “We know what a strong team Saracens are. They have players like Schalk Burger, Mako (Vunipola) and Maro (Itoje) running at you from all angles.
“If you’re not physical with them and let them run over you, it’s going to be a long day at the office so it’s something we targeted to get into the game.”
What they said
Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall said: “The team have been magnificent for two or three seasons now. To have won it twice is such an achievement – it’s hard enough to get out of your pool these days.
“They defended brilliantly and they hit us hard on the counter-attack. Their first try was a great try but I thought we responded to that pretty well.
“We spoke at half-time about how it was a really even game but we started the second half really poorly. They scored ten points, and we couldn’t catch them after that.
“It was a one-point game at half-time. In a game like this, to chase the game from 10-11 points behind, it’s very difficult against a defensive side as good as Leinster.
Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton added: “We’re delighted to get into the semi-final and we’re trying to replicate what these boys (Saracens) have done over the last few years.
“We’re trying to learn from them (Saracens) and we knew if we were going to win the European Cup, we were going to have to beat them at some stage.”
Social media reaction
FULL TIME | LEI 30 SAR 19
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) April 1, 2018
Not to be for holders @Saracens this afternoon despite a try for @Blair_CowanTC in that second half. Congratulations to @leinsterrugby who progress to the semi-finals#ChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/tE2mDiD1G1
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) April 1, 2018
Sarries are back in it!
Sub Blair Cowan makes an instant impact with a little help from the rest of the pack 💪
📺 BT Sport 2 HD & 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/ImIyA0r2zJ
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 1, 2018