Saracens make another final

Date published: May 21 2016

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Saracens booked their place in the Premiership final after they outclassed Leicester 44-17 in a slick display at Allianz Park on Saturday.

Four first-half tries set the European champions on their way before Tigers made the scoreline a touch more respectable after the interval.

Will Fraser, Chris Wyles (2) and Chris Ashton (2) were the home team's scorers while Telusa Veainu and Dom Barrow crossed for Leicester.

Saracens were outstanding in the opening period and took a dominant 31-0 advantage into the interval.

The Midlands outfit suffered a further blow in the first-half when Manu Tuilagi came off injured and, without the centre on the field, the visitors struggled to gain any forward momentum.

However, that changed in the early part of the second 40 minutes as touchdowns from Veainu and Barrow brought the Welford Road side back into contention.

But Mark McCall's men managed to re-find their composure as Ashton's second score and successive Charlie Hodgson three-pointers took them into the showpiece event.

Leicester went into the encounter hoping that Saracens' European excursions would see them lose focus, but the first five minutes merely dispelled that notion.

Although the Tigers had a try ruled out early on after a Barrow indiscretion, McCall's side were simply too powerful and clinical. That was expertly demonstrated by Schalk Brits and George Kruis, who combined to send Fraser charging across the whitewash, before a poor Owen Williams kick was pounced on by Wyles. The winger showed good awareness and speed to evade two attempted tackles and take Sarries 14-0 in front.

With the wind against them, Richard Cockerill's team were struggling to get out of their own half and the hosts capitalised on the territorial dominance. A brilliant team try, which was instigated by Billy Vunipola, resulted in Ashton surging free down the right touchline.

Owen Farrell superbly added his third conversion of the afternoon and also scored a penalty as the buffer became a seemingly insurmountable 24 points.

Wyles' intercept score on the stroke of half-time appeared to put the result beyond doubt but the Tigers opened the second period with intensity.

A Williams break resulted in Veainu touching down before the fly-half kicked a three-pointer to reduce the arrears to 31-10.

Fraser was then yellow carded and Barrow went over in the following passage of play as Leicester increased the pressure.

All of a sudden, Saracens were looking slightly perturbed but they regained their momentum and a pair of Hodgson penalties, who was on for the injured Farrell, re-established their authority on proceedings.

With their place in the final now secured, Sarries managed to have the final word when good work from Maro Itoje allowed Ashton to score his second of the match.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Fraser, Wyles 2, Ashton 2
Con: Farrell 4, Hodgson
Pen: Farrell, Hodgson 2

For Leicester:
Tries: Veainu, Barrow
Con: Williams 2
Pen: Williams

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt (c,) 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Marcelo Bosch

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait (c), 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Logovi'i Mulipola, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Will Evans, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Adam Thompstone

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys, Paul Dix
TMO: Graham Hughes

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