Saracens primed for a battle on Warriors trip
PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 February 2019
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North Londoners head for Sixways with a spot in the final up for grabs
Saracens have a chance to reach their first final of the season on Friday when they visit Worcester Warriors in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
After the initial group stage, the competition now moves on to the semi-finals with the north Londoners, Warriors, Northampton Saints and Newcastle Falcons still standing.
Having qualified for the final four as the best runner-up from the three groups, Sarries are the fourth seeds in the competition.
That means they have been drawn away to Worcester, who finished the group stage as the top seeds.
However, it should be a closer game than the seedings suggest with both the Allianz Park club and Warriors having emerged from Pool Two with 16 points.
Only points difference split the sides in the end, with Worcester’s greater total seeing them top the pile.
When the sides met at Allianz Park in the group stages in November, Saracens eased to a 34-22 success.
Ali Crossdale scored two tries in that win, while Schalk Burger, Alex Lewington, Ben Earl and Will Skelton also dotted down.
A similar score would not go amiss this weekend as the north Londoners look to take a step closer to claiming the first trophy of the season.
Sarries, however, will come up against a Worcester side also determined to progress, particularly with next month’s final due to take place at their Sixways Stadium home.
While Warriors were busy beating Wasps at the weekend to progress, the Allianz Park club were resting up having beaten Harlequins away from home the week before.
Whether that gap stands Saracens in good stead or disrupts their momentum will be seen in the early moments of Friday’s encounter.
But regardless of what happens at Worcester, Tom Whitely is pleased the north Londoners are at last competing again at the business end of cup competitions.
Speaking after the win at Quins, Whitely told the club website: “I don’t really know how to describe it; it’s our first semi-final for a few years.
“We wanted to do well in all competitions and this is the first step towards it so long may it continue.”