Planet Rugby

Saracens power past Ulster

06th April 2013 20:19

Share:

Chris Ashton of Saracens

Impressive: Saracens

Saracens will take on either Toulon or Leicester in the Heineken Cup semi-finals after overcoming Ulster 27-16 in an impressive showing on Saturday.

It was an English victory built on solid defence as they displayed hunger and intelligence that in truth meant Ulster rarely threatened the whitewash until the dying embers of matters at Twickenham.

Despite coming off second best at scrum-time, Saracens were dominant in the maul and also sucked the life out of Ulster in open play as last year's finalists struggled to penetrate the wall.

Man-of-the-match was flanker Will Fraser but that prize could have gone in several directions as Steve Borthwick and Brad Barritt also shone.

Tries from Fraser and Chris Ashton added to a near-perfect day at the office for Owen Farrell to put paid to any hopes that Ulster may have had of booking a semi-final spot at the Aviva Stadium.

A tight opening saw little in the way of genuine scoring opportunities, but Farrell put Saracens on the scoreboard with a third minute penalty.

Ulster's poor kicking percentage was laid bare for all to see, as Springbok Ruan Pienaar missed two penalties before slotting his first successful kick just before the half hour.

Further penalties were traded between the sides, and at 6-6, Fraser scored the first try of the game, driving over, for the score to be awarded after referee Romain Poite went to the TMO for clarification of the score. With Farrell adding the conversion, the home side entered half-time 16-6 up, having ruthlessly taken advantage of an Ulster indiscretion.

Two more Farrell penalties, with one more for Pienaar came before Ashton added the second try for Saracens, taking the ball wide past the Ulster defensive cover, to stretch the lead to 27-9 as the game entered the final quarter. It was now a long road back for Ulster.

The game ended as Iain Henderson rounded off a great move which saw his side work the ball from one half to the other, forcing his way over after great hands along his back line.

Pienaar's conversion was the last play of the game, which now sees Saracens return to Twickenham for their semi-final match against Toulon or Leicester later in the month.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Fraser, Ashton
Con: Farrell
Pen: Farrell 5

For Ulster:
Try: Henderson
Con: Pienaar
Pen: Pienaar 3

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (c) 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Chris Wyles.

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (c), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 Roger Wilson, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Stuart Olding, 23 Tommy Bowe.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Leighton Hodges (Wales), CÚdric Marchat (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
Thursday , May 1
Zebre vs Ospreys17:00
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs HarlequinsNorthampton vs Harlequins Preview
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Preview
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs RedsHurricanes vs Reds Preview
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs StormersCheetahs vs Stormers Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058