DFP Header Code

Match Page - Scoreboard

Match Page - Fixed Scoreboard



Match Centre - Preview - Current Standing A v B

Match Centre - Preview - H2H

Match Centre - Preview - Form Guide

Match Centre - Preview - Last Three Meetings

Season so far

Match Centre - Preview - Season So Far A v B

Tournament record

Match Centre - Preview - Tournament Record (Team A)

Match Centre - Preview - Tournament Record (Team B)

PREVIEW: Who will win St George’s Day Euro battle?

Wednesday 20th April 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

Share this page

Wasps can take a step closer to reclaiming past European Rugby Champions Cup glories on Saturday

Wasps can take a step closer to reclaiming past European Rugby Champions Cup glories on Saturday

Wasps can take a step closer to reclaiming past European Rugby Champions Cup glories on Saturday, but they face a Saracens side determined to finally get their name on the trophy.

The Premiership rivals clash at Reading’s Madjeski Stadium on Saturday for a place in the Champions Cup final at the Grand Stade de Lyon – an all-English battle on St George's Day!.

Dai Young’s men are in the last four for the first time since 2007, when they went onto claim European Cup glory. But Saracens, who have reached this stage in each of the last four seasons, stand in their way. Mark McCall’s men finished runners-up to Jonny Wilkinson’s RC Toulon in 2014, before another French side, ASM Clermont Auvergne, edged them out 13-9 at this stage last year.

Both sides came from behind against English opposition to book their spot in the semis. Jimmyy Gopperth sent Wasps through in dramatic style with a last minute conversion to claim a 25-24 home win over Exeter Chiefs, while Sarries came from behind to beat Northampton Saints 29-20.

Wasps dealt a psychological blow earlier this season by thumping their rivals 64-23 at Allianz Park, but director of rugby Young is not expecting a repeat.

He said: “It’s a big game against Saracens this weekend, but one we won’t have to talk up too much. There will be no lack of motivation, everyone’s excited and the boys have worked their socks off to get to the semi-finals. It’s our first one for a long time, and we’re determined to enjoy it and we will enjoy it most if we get the win. We have a big obstacle to climb against Sarries, we know how good they are and we know we have to be at our best.

“Our league victory was a one-off, I can’t see us cutting Sarries apart again like we did on that day. Everything went our way. I hope it doesn't go to penalties again! It was a painful experience for me and the players, but it’s all about the players. If we play to the best of our abilities and play to our levels, I think we will win.”

Both sides are likely to field full-strength starting XV’s. Saracens will have this year’s top European points scorer Owen Farrell pulling the strings. The England playmaker has racked up 92 points for the pool stage top seeds.

Wasps will be looking to red-hot finisher Christian Wade to supply the sting. The flying wing became only the second man to score six tries in a Premiership match at Worcester Warriors last weekend.

Brad Barritt has been a part of Saracens’ recent close-shaves, but he reckons they have learned their lessons.

He said: “There has been a huge evolution in our European fixtures. It has gone from qualifying to getting through the pool stages to quarter-finals to semi-finals to a final and, again, to a semi last year.

“We have definitely spoken about this season being our time. We have paid our dues, we have learnt our lessons. By no means is it going to win you the game but we feel those experiences over the past four seasons are going to stand us in great stead in these big fixtures.

“There’s that sense and an understanding that we know what we are about. We know we can dig ourselves out of tight situations. The big learning curve throughout our European campaign is that you need to find ways to win. Often it is a different way to what you expect.”

Match Facts

  • This will be the first time the clubs have met in European competition. 
  • Saracens have won just one of four previous Champions Cup semi-finals, beating ASM Clermont Auvergne 46-6 in 2014, the biggest margin of victory in a tournament semi-final. 
  • This will be Wasps' third Champions Cup semi-final appearance; they won both previous matches at this stage and went on to lift the trophy on both occasions in 2004 and '07. 
  • Saracens remain undefeated in the Champions Cup this season; no side has ever won the competition after winning all their pool games. 
  • Wasps have lost just once in their last 22 Champions Cup fixtures when they've scored 25+ points, a total they've achieved five times already this season. 
  • Saracens have scored a competition high 11 tries in the 20 minutes immediately after half time this season, however, no side has conceded fewer than Wasps (1) in this same period. 
  • 16 of Saracens' tries this season (57%) have come originated from line outs, the most of any side and twice as many as Wasps have managed. 
  • As well as winning the joint most turnovers (10), George Smith has also made the most tackles in the Champions Cup this season (94/107), whilst no player has attempted more without missing at least one than Matt Mullan (66/66). 
  • Charles Piutau tops the charts for defenders beaten (31), metres made (714) and clean breaks (15) in the Champions Cup this season. 
  • Saracens have forced the lowest lineout success rate from their opposition (73%) of any side in the competition this season, while Wasps can boast the same statistic but at scrum time (73%).


Match Centre - Preview - Lineups

REPORT: Saracens reach second final

Saturday 23rd April 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

Share this page

Saracens edged a thrilling clash to secure a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup Final in Lyon. - 23/04/2016 17:44

Saracens edged a thrilling clash to secure a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup Final in Lyon. - 23/04/2016 17:44

Saracens edged a thrilling clash to secure a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup Final in Lyon.

Michael Rhodes crossed in the first half before the power of the Saracens pack earned a penalty try. But they were forced to recover from an early score by Dan Robson and a late try by Ashley Johnson as Wasps threatened another comeback victory.

However, Saracens, inspired yet again by Heineken Man of the Match Maro Itoje, held their nerve and Farrell shook off two early misses, a heavy blow to the head and a yellow card to kick 14 points and maintain their unbeaten run in this season’s European campaign.

Now they will face either Leicester Tigers or Racing 92 in Lyon on May 14 after emerging winners from an entertaining clash at Reading’s Madejski Stadium. Wasps set this semi-final alight when Robson crossed after just 70 seconds.

A clever switch between Jimmy Gopperth and George Smith in midfield opened space out wide and the pace of Christian Wade did the rest. Wade burst down the right touchline before stepping inside to find Robson in support.

The scrum-half finished past opposite number Richard Wigglesworth in the corner and Gopperth converted.
However it was one-way traffic after that early breakthrough as Saracens commanded the rest of the first half.
England brothers Billy and Mako Vunipola were at the forefront of a powerful display by Saracens.

Yet despite dominating both territory and possession, it was not until Farrell kicked an injury-time penalty that Saracens finally went ahead. Farrell missed with his first attempt on 14 minutes and Duncan Taylor had a try ruled out after Chris Ashton was judged to have fouled Frank Halai.

But a Saracens score appeared inevitable amid the constant barrage and it was Rhodes who pulled out a try from nothing. The giant flanker charged down Gopperth’s kick, picked up the loose ball and then rode the fly-half’s challenge to score.

Farrell was off-target again but was successful on the stroke of half time and then swiftly added two more to open a 14-7 lead. But the England fly-half was binned for a dangerous tackle that saw try-scorer Robson carried off and Gopperth trimmed the lead to four points,

Wade again looked Wasps prime threat but Saracens’ 14-man defence held. Wasps replacement Simon McIntyre then followed to the sin bin for kicking Itoje and Farrell kicked a fourth penalty.

Against seven Wasps forwards, Saracens pack flexed their muscles with a devastating maul that was illegally dragged down and referee Romain Poite awarded a penalty try.

Yet Wasps proved in the quarter-final against Exeter that they can never be written off and Johnson’s try four minutes from time set-up a barnstorming climax. However Saracens held to book a return to the Champions Cup Final as they look to go one better than runners-up in 2014.

LIVE - TEST - Commentary

Match Page - Summary

Match Page - Timeline


Match Report - Team Stats (Attack)


Match Report - Team Stats (Defence)


Match Report - Team Stats (Kicking)


Match Report - Team Stats (Breakdown)

Set Plays

Match Report - Team Stats (Set Piece)


Match Report - Team Stats (Discipline)

Match Page - Player Performance