Conlon delighted to see Saracens peak at perfect time for Premiership Rugby 7s success
Saracens have learned how to peak at the crucial stages of competitions and 7s captain Joel Conlon felt his side did exactly that once again to lift the Premiership Rugby 7s title on Saturday.
The defending League Champions lifted the 7s trophy for the first time since 2010, having lost their opening game on Friday, but needed to be at their best to end Wasps two-year reign.
Wasps had won the trophy back-to-back in 2016 and 2017 and reached the final for a third straight year only to see Conlon’s side come away with a 33-12 victory in the Cup final.
The 24-year-old flanker led from the front too scoring twice in an all-action showpiece to take the sting out of a Wasps side depleted by injuries.
That winning feeling 🍾🍾🍾
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) July 29, 2018
And after a nine-month spell out on the sidelines with a series of back injuries of his own, former Exeter Chiefs academy product Conlon was delighted to lead Saracens to victory.
“I think as the tournament went on we clicked more and got there towards the end,” he said.
“We hadn’t really trained for it that much and we arrived with a couple of new lads, so it took a bit of getting used to.
“Wasps were very strong, they kept hold of the ball, moved us around a lot and it was very tiring to defend against.
“It doesn’t seem to have been our strongest competition in the past, but we had a strong team out this year and everyone was really excited for it.”
Saracens had lost their opening game of the Premiership Rugby 7s on Friday night to Newcastle Falcons 26-17 but a 26-14 success over Leicester Tigers secured their place in the Cup quarter-finals.
They’ve lifted the Cup🏆 at the #PremRugby7s here at Franklin’s Gardens to go with their league title won at Twickenham in May💪
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) July 28, 2018
And there was more tension to come as Saracens endured a dramatic 24-24 draw against Exeter Chiefs in the last eight only for Sean Reffell’s golden point score in extra-time seeing them through.
The north London club then booked their place in the final with a highly entertaining 29-21 success over a Harlequins side led by player of the tournament Calum Waters.
Conlon, who made his senior debut in 2012, now hopes to use the success to help him push for more regular appearances in next season’s Gallagher Premiership Rugby.
“It was tough last season being out for nine months or so, but my back is feeling reasonably good now and I want to get a good pre-season under my belt and hopefully kick-on,” he added.
“My main targets are to get back playing regularly, injury free and hopefully from there I can progress. I have got points to work on and hopefully I can push forward and get a first team spot.”