Saracens overpower Glasgow in Champions Cup quarterfinal
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Wales star Liam Williams and David Strettle scored two tries apiece as a Saracens side without England captain Owen Farrell overwhelmed Glasgow 56-27 in a European Champions Cup quarterfinal on Saturday.
London club Saracens had to reshuffle their backline at Allianz Park after Farrell was ruled out because his wife had gone into labour.
Fullback Alex Goode replaced Farrell at flyhalf, with Liam Williams going from the wing to fullback – where he starred for Six Nations Grand Slam champions Wales.
Despite all the upheaval Saracens still ran in seven tries as they beat Glasgow for the third time this season following two pool wins.
Alex Lozowski, taking over goalkicking duties from Farrell, kicked 21 points.
England hooker Jamie George capped a man-of-the-match display with one of hosts Saracens’ seven tries.
Saracens, the 2016 and 2017 European champions, who beat Glasgow at the same stage two years ago, will now face Munster in a semifinal in Coventry on April 20 after the Irish giants knocked out Edinburgh earlier on Saturday.
Scotland’s Stuart Hogg, returning after seven weeks out with a shoulder injury played a key role as Glasgow opened the scoring in just the second minute.
Hogg’s well-timed pass found wing Rory Hughes and his inside ball released Scotland scrumhalf Ali Price – one of 10 players in this match who had featured in the dramatic 38-38 draw between England and Scotland at Twickenham a fortnight ago.
Flyhalf Adam Hastings, the son of Scotland great Gavin, added the difficult conversion and Glasgow led 7-0.
But Saracens were soon level when Goode’s high kick was regathered near Glasgow’s posts by Williams who went over for a try.
Lozowski converted and his penalty edged Saracens 10-7 in front.
Glasgow’s defence cracked again in the 26th minute.
After a charge by England No.8 Billy Vunipola, George’s excellent cut-out released Strettle, who dived in at the right corner.
Lozowski then missed his only goal-kick of the match but Saracens were soon 22-7 ahead.
George, with a cleverly delayed pass worthy of a playmaking back, allowed Lozowski to send in Brad Barritt for a try his fellow centre converted.
Two Hastings penalties cut Saracens’ half-time lead to 22-13 but there was no ‘miracle’ second half for Glasgow as there had been for Scotland at Twickenham.
Saracens got the opening points of the second period through a Lozowski penalty and then had their fourth try.
George’s powerful run set up a ruck near Glasgow’s line, with Williams taking the ball at speed for his second try.
Saracens put the result beyond doubt with two more tries either side of the hour mark -Strettle scoring on the intercept and George powering over.
After George Horne’s score, Saracens replacement Nick Tomkins then took the hosts past the 50-point mark with their seventh try.
The Warriors ended teh scoring with a Zander Fagerson converted try.
Man of the match: Saracens hooker Jamie George had an outstanding game and he deserves the award.
Tries: Williams 2, Strettle 2, Barritt, George, Tompkins
Cons: Lozowski 6
Pens: Lozowski 3
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Price, G Horne, Fagerson
Cons: Hastings 3
Pens: Hastings 2
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Saracens: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Brad Barritt (captain), 11 David Strettle, 10 Alex Goode, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 George Kruis, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Christian Judge, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft, 17 Titi Lamositele, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Nick Tompkins, 23 Max Malins.
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Stafford McDowall, 12 Samuel Johnson, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Callum Gibbins (captain), 6 Rob Harley, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Kevin Bryce, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Siua Halanukonuka, 19 Jonny Gray, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 George Horne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Niko Matawalu.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ben Whitehouse (Wales), Ian Davies (Wales)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)