Saracens secure home Champions Cup quarterfinal
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Saracens will have a Champions Cup home quarterfinal after a 38-19 win over Glasgow Warriors at Allianz Park on Saturday.
The visitors had already secured a spot in the quarterfinals but will be on the road in the last eight.
Glasgow strayed offside early on as they attempted to defend their tryline and as a result, Saracens had a penalty in front of the posts and scrum-alf Ben Spencer made no mistake.
Spencer kicked the first three points and then grabbed the first try of the game minutes later. David Strettle broke through the Glasgow line with ease and Spencer was waiting for the simple offload and strolled over the tryline.
Glasgow hit back though in a thrilling first half as Sam Johnson played a great ball wide, cutting out several Saracens defenders, finding Stuart Hogg who had the overlap, who hit Seymour for the walk-in try.
Glasgow then hit the front for the first time thanks to a superb Ali Price try. He collected the high ball that was charged down by Rob Harley before darting past three bewildered Saracens defenders with blistering pace and diving over the tryline at the posts.
That lead didn’t last long as Saracens launched a powerful driving maul and Glasgow couldn’t respond as Vincent Koch dotted down.
Glasgow then wrestled back the lead for the second time when captain Ryan Wilson powered his way over the tryline after penalty advantage was being played by referee Pascal Gauzere.
It was vintage Billy Vunipola before the interval as from a Saracens scrum he picked up early and steamed past a couple of Glasgow defenders to grab a third Saracens try of the afternoon.
We had to wait until deep into the second half for the seventh try after a first half flurry and it was Man of the Match Maro Itoje who got it. A pair of nice offloads earlier in the move meant the lock make no mistake, powering his way over the tryline.
Will Skelton then rounded off a clinical performance with a final score as Saracens won their sixth straight Champions Cup match and secured the No.1 spot.
Tries: Spencer, Koch, B Vunipola, Itoje, Skelton
Cons: Spencer 3, Lozowski, 2
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Seymour, Price, Wilson
Cons: Hastings 2
* In case you missed it, here is the first PODCAST for 2018 …
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Brad Barritt (captain), 11 Liam Williams, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 David Strettle.
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson (captain), 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 2 Grant Stewart, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Kevin Bryce, 17 Alex Allan, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Adam Ashe, 20 Matt Smith, 21 George Horne, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Niko Matawalu.
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant referees: Maxime Chalon (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)