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Saracens looking to keep qualification hopes alive

Thursday 9th January 2020

12:31 pm (GMT)

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Saracens looking to keep qualification hopes alive

Rotimi Segun of Saracens dives over

Defending champions Saracens will be aiming to keep their hopes of retaining the Heineken Champions Cup alive when they travel to face Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

The Pool 4 match is live on free-to-air television on Channel 4 and Virgin Media as well as BT Sport and beIN SPORTS.

Key facts

  • Saracens are unbeaten against the Ospreys in the Heineken Champions Cup although they were held to a draw the last time they visited the Liberty Stadium in 2017/18.
  • Saracens have lost just two of their 14 matches against Welsh opposition in the Heineken Champions Cup and are unbeaten in their last 10 such matches since defeat to Cardiff Blues in 2000.
  • The Ospreys have lost their five Heineken Champions Cup games, their worst run since losing their initial five games in the competition in 2003/04.
  • Ospreys and Saracens have each conceded just 29 penalties, fewer than any other side after four rounds.
  • Billy Vunipola made 23 carries in Round 4, and no player made more while teammate George Kruis made the joint second most tackles (25).

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Saracens keep alive quarter-final hopes

Saturday 11th January 2020

3:07 pm (GMT)

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Saracens keep alive quarter-final hopes

Saracens wing Alex Lewington dives over for the match-winning try at the Liberty Stadium

An immaculate goal-kicking display from Manu Vunipola allied to a superb try from Alex Lewington enabled Saracens to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals from Pool 4 of the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday.

Despite having prop Rhys Carre sent off in the fourth minute, the defending champions leapfrogged over Munster Rugby into second place with a hard-fought win at Ospreys and piled the pressure on the Irish province for their match at leaders Racing 92 on Sunday.

The 19-year-old Vunipola was their hero with six goals from six attempts, which comprised five penalties and the conversion of Lewington’s second-half try.

Dan Evans scored two tries for Ospreys when Sarries were reduced to 13 men after flanker Calum Clark was yellow-carded, but they could make no headway against the defending champions’ 14 men.

Fly-half Vunipola had already kicked his first penalty when Carre was red-carded for a dangerous tackle and Luke Price levelled with a penalty on 14 minutes.

But Vunipola continued to kick his penalties, pulling Saracens 12-3 ahead – until Clark infringed at a ruck in the 33rd minute.

From a driving line-out, Ospreys spun the ball along the line and full-back Evans spotted a gap to slide under the posts to give Price a simple conversion.

Evans struck again two minutes into the second half while Sarries were still down to 13 men, but Price missed the conversion.

Vunipola showed how it was done when wing Lewington leapt like a salmon to catch Richard Wigglesworth’s pinpoint kick and raced away to score near the posts in the 5oth minute for the decisive try.


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