Saracens overcame Leicester 44-17 at Allianz Park on Saturday
Tries from Chris Wyles (2), Will Fraser and Chris Ashton gave Sarries a monstrous 31-0 lead at half-time
A second try from Ashton and kicks from Owen Farrell and Charlie Hodgson secured the win after the restart
Saracens overcame Leicester in an enthralling game at Allianz Park to book their place in next weekend’s Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham.
After kicking their way to the European Champions Cup last Saturday, it was a different Sarries all together that emerged in the first half of this semi-final. After the Tigers had a first-minute Manu Tuilagi effort ruled out, the London club eased clear with four first-half tries.
Chris Wyles scored twice and Will Fraser and Chris Ashton touched down as they led 31-0 at the break.
Telusa Veainu and Dom Barrow threatened a fightback but Ashton’s second sealed victory for the Champions Cup winners.
They will now face Exeter Chiefs or Wasps at Twickenham next Saturday, bidding to become the first English side since Wasps in 2004 to claim both the Premiership and European crowns.
Saracens started in style with Will Fraser crashing over for the opening try after just four mnutes. Chris Ashton started the move when he broke down the left, and a few passes later the ball was in the hands of England lock George Kruis, who offloaded perfectly to Fraser and the flanker made no mistake by sliding under the posts.
Owen Farrell then made no mistake from in front of the posts to extend the lead to seven points. The kick took the England fly-half up to 100 Premiership points this season despite missing a large portion of the season on England duty.Sarries then extended their lead when explosive winger Chris Wyles weaved his way through Tigers crumbling defence to dot down between the posts. And Farrell again calmy added the extra two points, 14-0.
Sarries then extended their lead when explosive winger Chris Wyles weaved his way through Tigers crumbling defence to dot down between the posts. And Farrell again calmy added the extra two points, 14-0.
To compound Leicester’s woe, Manu Tuilagi in the process limped off the field and was unable to return.
Next to dance his way over the line was Chris Ashton as the Sarries winger superbly finished try number three in the corner after 24 minutes. The England international got around his opposite man before stepping in and crashing through Veainu who was covering from the back. Farrell then added an impressive conversion from the touchline, 21-0.
Farrell pushed the hosts even further ahead with a penalty before USA international Wyles intercepted to run in for a second just before half-time. Farrell again converted confidently from the touchline, meaning Sarries led 31-0 at the break.
Leicester though came out after the break and scored within a minute to make thing interesting. Owen Williams ghosts through the midfield before passing to Veainu on the left who crosses for a try. Williams then converted, 31-7.
The Tigers then reduced the deficit further when he sent over a three-pointer soon after before Sarries were reduced to 14 men when Fraser saw yellow for the hosts,
Charlie Hodgson off the bench though edged Sarries further in front with a pair of penalties, 37-17.
Sarries then put the game completely to bed when Ashton dived over for his second. There was pressure at the ruck and Itoje hacked the ball ahead before Ashton chipped ahead before pouncing on the ball over the line. Hodgson then added the extras to complete the comprehensive victory.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Saracens: Chris Ashton
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt (c,) 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Marcelo Bosch
Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait (c), 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Logovi’i Mulipola, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Will Evans, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Adam Thompstone
Date: Saturday, May 21
Venue: Allianz Park
Kick-off: 12:30 BST (11:30 GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys, Paul Dix
TMO: Graham Hughes