Saracens proved their winning mentality once again as they found a way to win the Premiership final against Sale Sharks.

They had been well on top in the first half at a baking-hot Twickenham but had seen a seven-point lead at the break wiped out as Sale restarted with total domination.

But two tries in four minutes, inside the final 15 minutes, put the game beyond the Manchester club and gave Saracens the 35-25 success.

Their preparations were thrown into some sort of turmoil when they had to replace Mako Vunipola on the bench in the hours before kick-off, Robin Hislop coming into the squad.

The England international had been the one change from the semi-final win over Northampton Saints, Eroni Mawi coming in.

The only area where Sarries didn't have their own way in the first half was in the scrums, but that wasn't by much.

Elsewhere though they were on the front foot and on top, and yet they would have been disappointed not to have put Sale away, turning round just seven points up.

The former Harpenden St George's pupils, Owen Farrell and George Ford, traded early penalties, both landing two before the 20-minute mark.

But that was when the try scoring started.

A grubber ahead was not gathered by Sale's Joe Carpenter and a rogue foot from Gus Warr sent the ball scurrying over the line.

Max Malins would have got it had it not been for a tackle off the ball by Tom Curry, earning Saracens seven points and Curry a trip to the naughty step for 10 minutes.

And yet it was in that period that Sale had their only real period of pressure, culminating in Van der Merwe driving over the line, the TMO awarded the equalising score.

But Sarries got their noses in front with Alex Goode keeping an advantage alive by staying on his feet.

He laid it back before it was moved left, Malins having looped round from his right-wing position to hit the line at pace, securing his farewell score.

The battle of the 10s had been one of the battles eagerly awaited but it was Farrell who was having the better of the exchanges.

His kicking out of hand was locked in and he even found the time to strip a ball and turn defence into attack.

For Sale, there was an over reliance on the box kick from the back of rucks, with very little benefit.

They continued to kick it after the restart and while the box kicks still weren't working, it was kicks ahead that brought their second try five minutes in.

Akker Van der Merwe burst through a hole and kick forward.

It was slightly sliced but Elliot Daly failed to gather and after Tom Roebuck kicked on, he was able to dive on the ball which infuriatingly for Saracens didn't bounce out.

The conversion was missed and Daly thought he had immediate retribution.

However, his score two minutes later was ruled out for a foot in touch.

Farrell did land a penalty but that was wiped out instantly as Sale found space out wide and Sarries failed to kill a penalty, Bevan Rodd driving over from short range after a good run by Curry.

Sale had all the momentum with them and with Raffi Quirke bringing a completely different dynamic following his introduction, Saracens couldn't live with them.

And yet, out of nothing, they scored next.

A charge down had Tom O'Flaherty scrambling and a turnover allowed the ball to go to the left where this time Daly stayed in touch to score.

Farrell chose that moment to miss his first attempt at the posts but they entered the final 10 minutes three points in front and with the game poised.

And then came a TMO decision which ultimately won the game.

Carpenter looked to have done superbly to get his hand around and under the ball as Ivan Van Zyl went for the line.

But the man with the video felt the momentum had allowed the ti of the ball to touch the line and the try was awarded, Farrell making it a comfortable lead.

They ended with 14 men as Hislop went to the bin for a shoulder to head contact in the ruck but bar one break, there was to be no response from a shell-shocked Sharks.


Saracens: Mawi, George, Riccioni, Itoje, Tizard, Isiekwe, Earl, Wray Can Zyl, Farrell, Maitland, Tompkins, Lozowski, Malins, Goode.

Substitutes: Dan, Hislop, Judge, Hunter-Hill, Knight, Davies, Taylor, Daly.

Tries: Penalty 22, Malins 34, Daly 67, Van Zyl 71

Conversions: Penalty 22, Farrell 34, 71

Penalties:Farrell 5, 15, 50

Yellow cards: Hislop 74


Sale Sharks: McIntyre, van der Merwe, Schonert, JL.Du Preez, Hill, Curry, Dugdale, Ross, Warr, Ford, Reed, Tuilagi, R.Du Preez, Roebuck, Carpenter.

Substitutes: Ashman, Rodd, Oosthuizen, Beaumont, Ellis, Quirke, James, O’Flaherty.

Tries: Van der Merwe 31, Roebuck 45, Rodd 52

Conversions: Ford 31, 52

Penalties: Ford 7, 19

Yellow cards: Curry 22


HT: Saracens 20 Sale Sharks 13

Referee: Luke Pearce

Attendance: 61,875