George stars as super Saracens seal Champions Cup semi-final berth
Saracens reinforced their Heineken Champions Cup credentials as they ran in seven tries to cruise past Glasgow Warriors 56-25 and secure a semi-final berth.
Forced into a late change after talisman Owen Farrell was ruled out of the game just before kick-off, Mark McCall’s side suffered another blow to their hopes as Ali Price crossed with just over a minute on the clock.
But in typical fashion, the Gallagher Premiership Rugby champions hit back almost immediately to take the ascendancy, Liam Williams, David Strettle and Brad Barritt all dotting down to give them a 22-13 half-time lead.
Grand Slam winner Williams and Saracens stalwart Strettle then both doubled up in the second half as the hosts sealed their last four spot in style.
SEVEN tries and a scorching display from the #GallagherPrem champions! 🔥
Are they the side to beat in this season’s competition? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/ruQ1qBQkEI
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) March 30, 2019
Shorn of the influential Farrell – a late withdrawal after his wife went into labour – Saracens were made to pay for a sloppy start when Scotland scrum-half Price crossed in the corner just 68 seconds in.
Glasgow’s lead, though, was to last all of three minutes as full-back Williams pounced on Alex Goode’s high kick to power over.
Taking kicking duties in the absence of Farrell, Alex Lozowski nudged his side into the lead from the penalty tee before Strettle crowned a flowing move with an acrobatic score in the corner.
Captain Barritt raced clear for the hosts’ third just before the half hour and Williams notched his double on 48 minutes as Saracens pulled further clear.
Strettle emulated his back three partner to run in an intercept try, with the exceptional Jamie George burrowing over from the back of the maul to cap a Man of the Match display.
George Horne and Matt Fagerson crossed either side of substitute Nick Tompkins’ effort as the visitors restored some pride, but it was Saracens’ day and they will now play Munster at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena for a place in the final.