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Match Reaction: Saracens 44-19 Gloucester Rugby

Match Reaction: Saracens 44-19 Gloucester Rugby

Nick Tompkins’s resounding second-half hat-trick put the seal on a comprehensive Saracens semi-final performance that saw off the Gloucester Rugby challenge at Allianz Park.

There were strong periods from Gloucester at the start and end of the match, but otherwise Saracens were simply unmatchable on home turf and look in tip-top shape ahead of the final.

First-half tries came for Sean Maitland, Ben Spencer and Liam Williams, while Tompkins’ amazing performance off the bench ensures the defending champions will be at Twickenham Stadium with the trophy in their grasp once again.

MAN OF THE MATCH – Ben Spencer

With an all-powerful performance for much of the 80 you could’ve picked any number of Saracens – Maro Itoje was brilliant while Tompkins’ hat-trick grabs the headlines – but No.9 Ben Spencer was a cut above.

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This is the season where Spencer has made the jersey his own and this semi was the perfect display of his all-round skills – measured box-kicks, crisp passing, perfect support lines and a supreme ability to control the game.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

The decisive moment in this one came just before the half-hour and finally saw Saracens, in what had been an arm-wrestle up until that point, pin their opponent’s arm to the table.

It came as the typically energetic Itoje hit the angle into the 22, dummied right and took a few valuable extra metres before offloading to the supporting Spencer. From there, the champions never relented.

TRY OF THE MATCH

This was a semi-final packed with well-crafted tries and of all different varieties, but Tompkins’s 70-metre effort on 50 minutes was the pick of the bunch.

Turning the ball over in their own half Saracens counter-attacked down the right as the ball went wide to the touchline through hands and then back inside for Tompkins to apply the effective finish.

WHAT THEY SAID

Saracens centre Alex Lozowski: “I think Gloucester showed their teeth early on and got off to a great start and it was a nightmare for us.

“We knew it was going to be tough but to come back from that early setback shows the character of the boys and the team spirit, and in the end we had a good win.

“We did a lot of what we spoke about and we were aware of the threats they were going to bring. They’ve got some big, physical players who I thought we dealt with well. We just concentrated on our thing and playing well.”

Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann: “Obviously we saw today that there is still a lot of room for improvement and for growth. We saw a side that is composed and experienced, knows what they want to do and how to win those 50-50s.

“Every little thing that went up in the air it almost feels like they had the rub of the green, but we didn’t play probably as well as we could.

“There were some opportunities to score that we didn’t use and against a side like Saracens if you don’t use every single opportunity you’re not going to put them under pressure.”

SOCIAL REACTION

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