Comment: Saracens look the real deal as Glasgow are brushed aside in Europe
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Reigning champions Saracens made it 16 games unbeaten in the European Champions Cup after brushing aside Glasgow Warriors 38-13 in the quarter final at Allianz Park on Sunday.
The Hendon-based club have now progressed into the semi-finals for the fifth consecutive season.
The victory over the Warriors never looked in doubt after the home side attacked from the off. Sarries brought an intensity that we have been so accustomed to seeing time and time again in the competition.
The score could have been even more impressive if wingers Chris Ashton and Sean Maitland had scored early on, but both were ruled to have limbs in touch and subsequently chalked off.
They had no bearing on the result but it sent a clear message to their opponents early on.
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Sarries’ game plan was executed to near perfection.
The seamlessness of forwards and backs working in tandem is one part of the game that sets Saracens apart from their opponents. Using dummy runners in their attack to create space and gaps in the Glasgow defence provided so much go-forward for the hosts.
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Fly half Owen Farrell’s ability to play the ball on the advantage line is one of many skills that will see his inevitable inclusion in the Lions squad of the tour to New Zealand this summer. He is undoubtedly a big game player and steps up when needed to and will play a crucial part in the north London club’s progression in the competition.
The visitors were under series of barrages for large periods of the game, but when they did secure front-foot ball, a black and red wall offered no reprieve. Aptly named the “wolf pack,” the Sarries defence complimented their attacking game extremely well, despite Glasgow crossing the whitewash twice - but to no avail in determining the overall result.
The cup holders looked the real deal in a fine 80-minute performance that will boost their chances of retaining the title.
Before they do so, however, the Irish province of Munster stand in their way. A semi-final trip to Dublin for a spot in Edinburgh’s final will surely be as explosive as it will be entertaining.
The Limerick-based side have been unbeaten in all competitions in 2017 and will provide stern opposition. But in Europe this season, Saracens have brought an extra dimension – that additional 10 per cent that wins you games.
The intensity at Allianz Park on Sunday was as strong as ever but it is a similar feature in Munster. The winner in Dublin will be the team that has the panache and desire to want it more and Saracens have shown on multiple occasions this season that a consecutive European title is well within their grasp.