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Saracens storm into Premiership Rugby Shield final

Saracens storm into Premiership Rugby Shield final

Saracens Storm confirmed their place in the Premiership Rugby Shield final with a 13-try rout of defending champions Northampton Wanderers.

Wanderers claimed the title for each of the past two years – and had reached four of the last five finals – but their streak finally came to an end thanks to a scintillating display en route to an 89-7 triumph at Allianz Park.

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Having topped the Southern Conference with eight wins from ten, Saracens continued their sparkling form as Sione Vailanu ran in a hat-trick, there were doubles for Tom Woolstencroft, Tom Whiteley and Anthony Maka, while Nick Isiekwe, Ralph Adams-Hale and Elliott Obatoyinbo also crossed in addition to a penalty try.

Matt Worley grabbed the Wanderers’ sole try but it’s the Storm who will contest the Premiership Rugby Shield final on Monday May 13 – against the winner of next week’s semi-final between Newcastle Falcons and Exeter Braves.

Storm’s forwards got off to brilliant start as they drove Northampton’s pack over their own line from a scrum against the head and then earned a penalty try when Wanderers – who finished second in the Northern Conference – brought down the subsequent scrum on Saracens’ put in.

Isiekwe then powered over from ten metres out – Max Malins adding the first of his seven conversions – before Vailanu ran in from a similar distance for his first.

Malins treleased Rotimi Segun for powerful run into the Northampton 22 before Whiteley sniped over from the ruck and Adams-Hale grabbed try number five just after the half-hour.

There was still time for three more tries before the break however, as Woolstencroft flopped over off the back of a lineout maul, Vailanu touched down his second and Obatoyinbo demonstrated his speed to race clear on the half-time whistle.

At 56-0 down, the second half was all about damage limitation for Northampton and they finally got a try of their own two minutes in as Worley produced a mazy run through the defence.

That was as good as it got for Wanderers however, as Woolstencroft snuck over in the corner and Whiteley sprinted over the whitewash for his second try.

Vailanu completed his treble with around 15 minutes remaining before back-row replacement Maka added some further late gloss to the scoreline by squeezing the ball against the foot of the post and then powering over for a second score to make the final result 89-7.

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