wnol.info November 25 2017


Chris Ashton emotional after helping Saracens taste more European glory

November 25 2017, 07:40 | Perry Erickson

Chris Ashton emotional after helping Saracens taste more European glory

Chris Ashton emotional after helping Saracens taste more European glory

He added: "There were some players we really felt strongly needed to rest for this game and a couple of players who were just carrying small things which had this been the semi-final with nothing next week they would have played".

"However, lives change and opportunities arise and, yeah, I think it's my time to move on". It could see them revert to the style of play that took them to the double last season, but if it proves successful this time around, there will be no one doubting just how great they are.

"I won't lie, I'm pretty happy about the record. There are a lot of people whose lives revolve around the club".

For sure, it has always been fashionable in domestic rugby to harbour an antipathy for them, yet if Saracens triumph in the Champions Cup final against Clermont Auvergne in Edinburgh today, they will have appeared in four consecutive finals of the two competitions in which they compete and they will have won the lot.

A great chance for Saracens was missed when they Lopez managed to spoil an overlap, then Abendanon bravely halted a clattering blindside charge for the line by Vunipola off a scrum.

Winger David Strettle spent five years with Sarries before moving to the Stade Marcel-Michelin in 2015.

While it is not clear whether he will feature at first centre or out-half for the Lions team in New Zealand, he is one of the more assured starters on the test side.

A Vunipola surge took the No8 to within two metres of the line and, with Schalk Brits now on the pitch instead of George, Saracens enjoyed more continuity. Tackled, he passed to Yato who ran at Owen Farrell and fended him off before passing to Nick Abendanon to score.

But the English champions clung on to the continental title they lifted for the first time past year when Alex Goode dived over in the corner seven minutes from time.

"We could easily have lost our heads being so dominant and not scoring but we didn't".

After the frustration of missing the entire worldwide season through injury, Duncan Taylor is desperate to get back on a BT Murrayfield pitch which saw him score one of the great Scotland tries the last time he graced it.

A win for the English side would also see them create history by setting a new record for the number of unbeaten games in the Champions Cup at 18, they're now tied with the Leinster team that avoided defeat between 2010 and 2012.

"We gave it our all out there - we might have left it a bit late in the first half to start playing but we had a good fightback in the second half and we're proud of that effort", said Clermont fullback Scott Spedding.

Defeat was another bitter pill for Clermont.

This was their third loss in as many European Cup finals, with Clermont also beaten in 11 of their 12 appearances in France's domestic Top 14 final, and meant more heartache for their loyal "Yellow Army" of passionate fans.

The French side lost to Toulon in the 2013 final under former Scotland coach Vern Cotter and to the same opposition in the 2015 final but hope to go one better against the holders this evening. "They are an outstanding team so we need to have some real clarity about how we deal with their threats. We weren't able to reverse the pressure". I'm just thankful that somehow we got another win.



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