Owen Farrell kicked 27 points as Saracens thrashed Wasps 57-33 in London on Saturday to advance to the English Premiership final. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Billed as the tougher of the two semi-final match-ups, there was – ironically – no real difficulty for Saracens who made light work of last season’s runners-up in a breathless encounter that produced 11 tries.
Willie le Roux was a stand-alone hero for Wasps, scoring two great tries and assisting another. But it was the supreme performance of Farrell that will linger long in the memory. He marshalled Saracens’ attack, frustrated Wasps in defence and was flawless off the kicking tee with a perfect 11 from 11 attempts (six conversions and five penalties).
Saracens were fully deserving of their 30-5 lead midway through the game after a dominant first-half display. In stark contrast, Wasps were surprisingly poor and lacked urgency and intensity.
However, the visitors found their range after the interval as they started to play with more conviction. But in the end, Wasps made a stirring comeback.
Sarries raced out to a 23-5 lead courtesy of converted tries by centre Alex Lozowski and Vincent Koch along with three penalty goals by Farrell. And that advantage was extended to 30-5 shortly after the break when Chris Wyles powered over in the corner.
The game opened up thereafter. Wasps scored two unanswered tries to cut Saracens’ lead to 11 points, but casual defence and ill-discipline proved to be their downfall. They conceded three more tries to rampant Saracens in the final quarter as well as two more penalties which Farrell converted into points.
Le Roux and Christian Wade managed to score again for the visitors but by then Saracens were well out of sight.
Saracens – Tries: Alex Lozowski, Vincent Koch, Chris Wyles Juan Figallo, Maro Itoje, Ben Spencer. Conversions: Owen Farrell (6). Penalties: Farrell (5).
Wasps – Tries: Willie le Roux (2), Jake Cooper-Woolley, Thomas Young, Christian Wade. Conversion: Jimmy Gopperth (2), Danny Cipriani (2).
Saracens – 15 Alex Goode, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Subs: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Michael Rhodes, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Marcelo Bosch, 23 Nathan Earle.
Wasps – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Jack Willis, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Ben Harris.
Subs: 16 TJ Harris, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Marty Moore, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Kyle Eastmond, 23 Josh Bassett.