Saracens make LV= Cup Final

Date published: March 14 2015

Saracens booked their place in the LV= Cup final after they fought back to see off Northampton Saints 24-20 at Allianz Park on Saturday.

Northampton, who named a strong forward pack for the semi-final, were on top early as fly-half Sam Olver kicked two penalties in the first quarter.

But the home side then found their feet in attack as a nice late line off the blindside wing from David Strettle made it a 6-5 deficit on 22 minutes.

Olver hit back in the 27th minute when he slipped the Saracens net to hand Saints a 13 -5 cushion, which was how it stayed until the turnaround.

Saracens though came out of the dressing rooms with real intent and crossed inside a minute when Mike Ellery went over. Ben Spencer slotted the conversion and then a 46th minute penalty as suddenly the hosts were in front, leading 15-13 in what was a fascinatingly poised match.

The home charge continued in the early stages of the second half as two further Spencer penalties put them into a 21-13 advantage on 55 minutes.

But the Saints finally regrouped by the 64th minute and managed to claw their way back into the action, scoring via a driving maul that Lee Dickson was marshalling from the tail. Replacement fly-half Stephen Myler's sweet conversion meant it was now 21-20 to the team wearing black.

Nils Mordt though settled the nerves with a late drop goal that ultimately meant Northampton's task was too big, with Saracens progressing to the Franklin's Gardens final.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Strettle, Ellery
Con: Spencer
Pen: Spencer 3
Drop: Mordt

For Northampton:
Tries: Olver, Dickson
Con: Olver, Myler
Pen: Olver 2

Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Tim Streather, 11 David Strettle, 10 Nils Mordt, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Matt Hankin, 6 Nick De Jager, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 Maro Itoje (c), 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Jared Saunders, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Scott Spurling, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 George Kruis, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Thretton Palamo, 23 Catalin Fercu.

Northampton: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 Tom Stephenson, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Sam Olver, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Phil Dowson (c), 6 Jon Fisher, 5 Tom Ryder, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Matti Williams, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Ben Nutley, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 James Wilson.

Referee: Dean Richards
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank, Andrew Pearce