Northampton to play Leicester in Premiership final

Northampton Saintswill meet Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership final after they beat Saracens 13-27 at Allianz Park in their Semi-final.

Saracens were undefeated at Allianz Park going into the game but found themselves
17-0 down at the break through Brian Mujati and Jamie Elliott tries, as well
as seven points from Stephen Myler’s boot.

A Duncan Taylor try and two Owen Farrell penalties gave Mark McCall’s men hope,
but Gerrit-Jan van Velze’s touchdown and Myler’s second three-pointer sealed
the win.

The hosts went into this encounter as huge favourites having finished the regular
season at the top of the league and also having reached the semi-finals of the
Heineken Cup.

However, the home side were shocked by the visitors in the opening half as
they played with a verve and an intensity they have rarely produced against
the top teams this year.

Although Myler was off-target with his first two penalty attempts, Northampton
were eventually rewarded for their dominance when Mujati finished off a typically
powerful driving maul.

It got worse for the London-based outfit when Elliott touched down after scampering
down the left-hand side, taking advantage of good work from Lee Dickson and
Christian Day.

Myler converted for the second time before adding a three-pointer late in the
half to give Saints a surprise 17-0 lead at the interval.

Despite the travails of the opening period – possibly their worse display of
the campaign – Sarries came out with intent after the break.

Mako Vunipola was particularly prominent and David Strettle had a chance to
reduce the arrears, although the wing wasted the opportunity as he was held
up.

Farrell rewarded his pack’s efforts with successive penalties but their work
was undone when the excellent Dickson sent van Velze over.

There was a glimmer of hope when Elliott was sin-binned for taking Farrell
out in the air and they took advantage of the extra man when Taylor crossed
the whitewash.

However, Myler eased the nerves with a late three-pointer to take Northampton
into the final where they will face arch-rivals Leicester Tigers.

Final Score Saracens 13 (0) Northampton 27 (17)

Scorers

Saracens
Try: Taylor
Con: Farrell
Pens: Farrell 2

Northampton
Tries: Mujati, Elliott, Van Velze
Cons: Myler 3
Pens: Myler 2

Match Officials
Referee
: JP Doyle (62nd Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix and Peter Huckle
TMO: Graham Hughes.

Teams

Saracens

15 Alex Goode , 14 Chris Ashton , 13 Joel Tomkins , 12 Owen Farrell , 11 David Strettle , 10 Charlie Hodgson , 9 Neil de Kock , 8 Jackson Wray, 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 Carlos Nieto , 19 Mouritz Botha , 20 George Kruis , 21 Richard Wigglesworth , 22 Duncan Taylor , 23 Chris Wyles

Northampton Saints

15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 James Wilson, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga’uiha.

Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 GJ Van Velze, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

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