Saracens beat Ulster to book Heineken Cup semi

Saracens booked a place in the Heineken Cup semi-finals when they beat Ulster 15-17 at Ravenhill in their quarter final.

In the fourth minute of the match Ulster back Jared Payne tackled Saracens fullback Alex Goode in the air and was red carded for the act.

Goode was stretchered off while Payne pleaded that he had been keeping his
eye on the ball and had not targeted the player.

Despite being a man down, Ulster took the lead through a Ruan Pienaar penalty.

The South African scrum-half, who was to be replaced eventually when he felt
his injured shoulder, then missed the first of two penalties before Saracens’
England winger Chris Ashton scored the first of his two tries on 22 minutes.

Owen Farrell missed the conversion before Pienaar put Ulster back in front
with two penalties for a 9-5 lead at the interval.

Mouritz Botha scored Saracens’ second try eight minutes after the break but
Farrell missed the extras.

Saracens’ one-man advantage eventually told when Ashton scored his second try
of the night in the 67th minute after an accurate cross-field kick from Farrell.

Paddy Jackson popped over two late penalties but Ulster couldn’t find the breakthrough
despite their epic struggle which saw a 35-phase move thwarted at the death.

Ulster captain Johann Muller insisted Payne should only have been penalised
with a yellow card for the tackle on Goode.

“He was looking at the ball all the time. He didn’t see him coming. It
was dangerous and it’s not right but it’s a yellow card not a red,” said

Saracens will host French side Clermont at Twickenham in their semi-final.

Final Score Ulster 15 (9) Saracens 17 (5)


Tries –
Pen – Pienaar (3), Jackson (2)
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Ashton (2), Botha
Pen –
Con – Farrell
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Jerome Garces (France),
Assistant ref: Mathieu Raynal (France),
Assistant ref: Cedric Marchat (France),
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France),
Citing Commissioner: Paul Minto (Scotland)


Ulster Rugby: Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Tommy Bowe; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Tom Court, Rory Best, John Afoa, Johann Muller (c), Dan Tuohy, Roger Wilson, Chris Henry, Nick Williams

Replacements: Rob Herring, Andrew Warwick, Ricky Lutton, Iain Henderson, Stephen Ferris, Robbie Diack, Paul Marshall, Craig Gilroy

Saracens: Alex Goode; Chris Ashton, Duncan Taylor, Brad Barritt, David Strettle; Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth; Mako Vunipola, Schalk Brits, James Johnston, Steve Borthwick (c), Mouritz Botha, Billy Vunipola, Jacques Burger, Ernst Joubert

Replacements: Jamie George, Richard Barrington, Matt Stevens, Eoin Sheriff, Kelly Brown, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Chris Wyles

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