Saracens ease into Final
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Saracens eased past Gloucester to keep alive their hopes of a big double.
The European Cup champions, Saracens, outscored Gloucester by six tries to three for a commanding 44-19 victory.
Saracens will meet either Exeter Chiefs or Northampton Saints in the Final at Twickenham Stadium next week – where they will get the opportunity to defend their Premiership crown.
After a stellar season the Cherry & Whites started well at Allianz Park, with Ben Morgan’s score.
However, the hosts responded immediately through Sean Maitland, before Ben Spencer and Liam Williams also crossed.
Replacement Nick Tompkins’ hat-trick after the break created a 30-point lead, one which Gloucester responded to with tries for Ruan Dreyer and Lewis Ludlow – but the damage had already been done.
Gloucester started on the front foot and after going coast to coast got the opening score as No.8 Morgan popped up on the right wing and trundled in to the line.
The response was almost immediate as the hosts fought their way down the other end, Owen Farrell poked through and Maitland collected out wide for an easy score.
A penalty from the England man put Saracens ahead and it stayed 8-7 until the closing stages of the half, until Maro Itoje burst into the 22 and dummied left before then releasing Spencer to go in under the posts.
Farrell added another penalty and when Williams was put into corner following a regathered up and under, it built a 23-7 lead at the break.
The champions only ratcheted up the pressure after the interval, a flowing move through hands to the left seeing Tompkins, on for the injured Brad Barritt, get his first.
A superb counter-attack on 50 minutes and Tompkins had his second, while his third came from much shorter distance as Saracens went past 40.
The Cherry & Whites response came from their replacements as Dreyer threw a delightful dummy to get over, Ludlow repeating the trick with a bit more pace on 68 minutes to round off the scoring.
Tries: Maitland, Spencer, Williams, Tompkins 3
Cons: Farrell 4
Pens: Farrell 2
Tries: Morgan, Dreyer, Ludlow
Cons: Twelvetrees 2
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 George Kruis, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Ralph Adams-Hale, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Mike Rhodes, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Nick Tompkins, 23 David Strettle.
Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Tom Marshall, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Willi Heinz (captain), 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Ruan Ackermann, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Josh Hohneck.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Lewis Ludlow, 21 Jake Polledri, 22 Ben Vellacott, 23 Henry Purdy.
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Karl Dickson & Paul Dix.
RECAP: Saracens v Gloucester
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