Saracens throw off their ‘boring’ tag as they march to the Premiership Rugby final with enthralling and entertaining Wasps win
PUBLISHED: 15:52 19 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:52 19 May 2018
PA Archive/PA Images
As substitute Ben Spencer crashed over the line with four minutes remaining the Saracens crowd burst into a rendition of ‘boring, boring Saracens’.
They had their collective tongues stuck firmly in their cheeks though as it was the hosts’ sixth try of an enthralling Aviva Premiership play-off semi-final which Saracens won 57-33.
Wasps played their part, scoring five tries of their own, and during the second half they displayed a resolute never-say-die attitude.
But a major part of the victory came from the metronomic boot of Owen Farrell, who kicked everything that came his way.
The newly-appointed England Captain, at least for the upcoming South Africa tour anyway, sent all six conversions and five penalties over the crossbar as Sarries booked a place in next week’s Twickenham final.
The blistering start was key and set the tone early.
Saracens found gaps through the middle time and time again and two breaks, from Farrell and Maro Itoje, brought scores for Alex Lozowski and Vincent Koch.
That gave them a 14-0 lead after 13 minutes and three penalties made sure Willie Le-Roux’s reply for Wasps was seemingly little more than a consolation.
The visitors could have found a shock way back into the game shortly after Roux’s try and but for Jimmy Gopperth putting a hand in touch as he grounded the ball, then they would have.
But Saracens domination in the first period was summed up in one moment three minutes before half-time.
Gopperth was thrown a pass inside his 22 and when he turned to move forward he was faced by a black wall of marauding Saracens’ forwards and with no place to go.
And when Wiles went over four minutes after the restart, most in the sell-out crowd at Allianz Park were thinking it was game over.
It was but that was the start of five tries in 20 minutes.
The last had come from Juan Figallo but in between Jake Cooper-Woolley, Tom Young and Le Roux again had dragged Wasps to within 10 points.
They also scored the try of the game, Young’s effort coming after a great break from Christian Wade who ran a beautiful angle and played the ball back inside.
But that period had also included two more Farrell penalties to keep Saracens ticking over before Itoje sealed the game once and for all.
There was still time for Wade to score yet another superb try, latching on to a burst and flicked pass out of the back of the hand by Guy Thompson but Spencer completed the scoring and sent the capacity crowd off into song.
They will hope to be in fine voice next week when they take on either Exeter Chiefs or Newcastle Falcons.
One thing is for sure; if it it’s anything like this game, it will be a worthy of a tune or two.
Saracens: M.Vunipola, George, Koch, Itoje, Kruis, Isiekwe, Wray, B.Vunipola, Wigglesworth, Farrell, Wyles, Barritt, Lozowski, Maitland, Goode
Replacements: Brits, Barrington, Figallo, Skelton, Rhodes, Spencer, Bosch, Earle
Tries: Lozowski 2, Koch 13, Wyles 44, Figallo 64, Itoje 71, Spencer 76
Conversions: Farrell 2, 13, 44, 64, 71, 76
Penalties: Farrell 19, 23, 28, 55, 59
Wasps: B.Harris, Cruse, Cooper-Woolley, Launchbury, Myall, Willis, Young, Hughes, Robson, Cipriani, Daly, Gopperth, De Jongh, Wade, Le Roux
Replacements: A.Harris, Mullan, Moore, Gaskell, Thompson, Simpson, Eastmond, Bassett
Tries: Le Roux 24, 61, Cooper-Woolley 48, Young 50, Wade 74
Conversions: Gopperth 48, 50, Cipriani 61, 74
HT: Saracens 23 Wasps 5
Referee: JP Doyle