Saracens hero Bosch: I imagined being on the beach before that winning kick against Racing Metro

Marcelo Bosch (centre) celebrates his winning 45m kick against Racing Metro in Paris with Rhys Gill

Marcelo Bosch (centre) celebrates his winning 45m kick against Racing Metro in Paris with Rhys Gill (left) and Charlie Hodgson - Credit: Archant

Marcelo Bosch says he imagined he was on the beach as he kicked Saracens into the semi-finals of the European Champions Cup with his last-minute 45-metre penalty.

With Saracens trailing 11-9 to the Racing Metro in Paris on Sunday, up stepped the Argentinian international to win the match with nerves of steel in the swirling winds of the Stade Yves du Manoir.

“I always train to try to make it as real as possible, but you can’t really replicate those nerves. Thankfully, it went over,” said Bosch. “Our kicking coach Dan Vickers told me to visualise being on the beach with the sand between my toes and it seemed to do the trick.

“With the wind in my face, I didn’t really want to force it. I just tried to be as relaxed as possible and get a good strike on the ball.”

Bosch was Saracens’ third- choice kicker but, with Alex Goode and Charlie Hodgson both unsure whether they could make the distance into the wind, the centre tried his luck and won the match with the final kick.

After taking a 6-5 lead at the interval, Metro wasted two gilt-edged chances to cross the line before scrum-half Maxime Mechanaud kicked two penalties late in the game to give his side a two point lead.

But, as they were trying to run the clock down, the home side conceded a penalty with 20 seconds left and Bosch’s successful kick earned his team a repeat of last year’s semi-final against Clermont Auvergne, which will be played at the neutral venue of St Etienne’s Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on April 18.

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“At the beginning of the game, we suffered a lot and they were really coming at us hard,” explained Bosch. “But we didn’t give up. We play for the guy next to us and it was a great reward.”

Saracens have already faced Clermont twice in this year’s competition – winning at home and losing away in the pool stage – and the French side beat Premiership leaders Northampton Saints 37-5 in their home quarter-final.

Bosch added: “We didn’t watch the game as we were travelling to Paris, but apparently they were fantastic and they are one of the best teams in Europe.

“I’d imagine they are very confident and we will look forward to the game, but first we have to play Leicester Tigers in the Premiership”

Leicester visit Allianz Park on Saturday, kick off 3.15pm. Saracens centre Brad Barritt could return from injury but fly-half Owen Farrell is still a few weeks away from fitness.