Saracens beat Saints to reach Premiership final

Saracens booked a place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby final by beating Northampton Saints 24-29 at Franklins Gardens on Saturday.

Saracens will face the winners of the second Semi-final which is between Bath and Leicester Tigers.

Saracens were beaten by Northampton Saints in last season’s Premiership final but they gained revenge by knocking the champions out of the tournament and ending their reign.

A compelling first half at Franklin’s Gardens ended all square at 13-13 and an increasingly bruising battle up front ke to the match being decided by goalkickers on both sides.

Ultimately, England international Owen Farrell’s 19-point haul, comprising five penalties and two conversions, swung the match Saracens’ way.

The north London club — who sneaked into the play-offs on points difference — also saw hooker Jamie George score a second-half try, with Northampton flanker Tom Wood crossing for the home side.

Victory saw Saracens become only the fifth away side in 21 play-off semi-finals to come out on top and they will now play the winners of the match between Bath and Leicester later Saturday in next week’s final at Twickenham.

Saracens went ahead when David Strettle punted the ball behind Northampton’s defence, with team-mate Duncan Taylor the first to the kick before passing to the England wing for a try.

But Northampton, who topped the regular season table, equalised with a penalty try that saw Saracens prop Mako Vunipola sin-binned for collapsing a scrum.

Farrell kicked a penalty before exchanging three-pointers with Northampton fly-half Stephen Myler.

An attritional second half saw Farrell convert George’s try and, although Myler landed a late penalty, Saracens’ defence held firm to give them a hard-won victory.

Final Score Northampton Saints 24 (13) Saracens 29 (13)

Scorers

Northampton Saints
Tries – Penalty, Wood
Pen – Myler (4)
Con – Myler
Drop –
Cards –

Saracens
Tries – Strettle, George
Pen – Farrell (5)
Con – Farrell (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee :
Greg Garner (82nd Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Luke Pearce and Matthew Carley.
TMO: Sean Davey.

Teams

Northampton

15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Alex Corbisiero

Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Jon Fisher, 21 Kahn Fotuali’i, 22 Tom Stephenson, 23 James Wilson

Saracens

15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Wyles, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 George Kruis, 4 Al Hargreaves (c), 3 Petrus du Plessis, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola

Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Chris Ashton

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