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Something will have to give

Thursday 10th January 2013

12:00 am (GMT)

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Saracens and Munster have it all to play for when the two sides clash in the second leg of their double-header at Vicarage Road in Watford on Sunday. - 14/12/2012 09:59

Saracens and Munster have it all to play for when the two sides clash in the second leg of their double-header at Vicarage Road in Watford on Sunday. - 14/12/2012 09:59

This is a must-win game for both Racing Metro 92 and Saracens in a Pool which is still wide open and almost impossible to call as we enter the final two rounds of the Pool stages.

Racing Metro 92, Saracens and Munster have all taken points off each other and will still have genuine ambitions and hopes of reaching the last eight of European rugby’s premier tournament.

Saracens are only two points ahead of their French rivals and three points ahead of their Irish rivals and need a victory at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes to cement their position as Pool leaders.

The French side have taken all of their home Pool games on the road and they travel to Nantes to host the English side who moved one of their home games to Belgium during this campaign.

Saracens recorded 30-13 victory over Racing Metro when the two sides met in front of a 18,000 crowd at the new King Badouin Stadium in Brussels back in October and the form of Owen Farrell could be crucial.

Racing Metro will be full of confidence after they became the first side to beat Top 14 leaders Toulon at home last weekend and will be looking for a home victory over Saracens.

Both sides, however, will have one eye on Munster’s trip to face Edinburgh on Sunday, knowing the Irish province are very much in the battle for a Heineken Cup quarter-final place.

Match Facts

  • Saracens have triumphed in two of the three Heineken Cup meetings between these teams, including a 30-13 success earlier this season. The first two clashes were settled by margins of five points or fewer.
  • The French side opt to kick the ball in open play more often than any other side in the Heineken Cup this season (34 times per match).
  • Steve Borthwick has won 25 line-outs so far this season, including two steals, more than any other player in the competition.
  • Saracens have a 50-50 win/loss record against French opponents in this tournament, winning eight and losing eight. Away from home their overall record is the same, they have won 10 and lost 10.



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Saracens take huge step towards quarters

Saturday 12th January 2013

12:00 am (GMT)

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Malgré trois essais inscrits très tôt

Malgré trois essais inscrits très tôt

Saracens have their quarter-final qualification destiny in their own hands after their 37-28 victory over Racing Metro 92 at Stade de La Beaujoire.

The fiery contest in Nantes was settled by the immaculate goal kicking of Owen Farrell as he punished Racing indiscipline with 10 penalty goals – though Sarries were not entirely blameless and had to do it the hard way after twice being reduced to 14 men with Will Fraser and Chris Ashton spending spells in the sin bin.

Farrell kicked everything that came his way, including the conversion of full back Chris Wyles’ try, after Farrell had inevitably provided the platform for the score from a line-out with his pin-point touchfinder.

The win took Steve Borthwick’s team to 18 points with a regulation win at home against Edinburgh Rugby on Sunday good enough for a last eight place.

Racing are now out of the hunt on 12 points – Farrell’s final last-gasp penalty denying them even a sniff of a losing bonus point – and Munster, who play Edinburgh at Murrayfield in their Round 5 game, are the only remaining threat for group honours.

But it was Farrell’s masterclass with the boot that decided this make-or-break contest as Racing outscored them 3-1 in tries.

Prop Luc Ducalon got the first after just six minutes and Pumas wing ace Juan Imhoff got two in just four minutes at the end of the first quarter.

It all added up to Saracens finding themselves 13 points adrift three times before they steadied the ship and staged a fightback brimming with never-say-die character.

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