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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Saracens edge Northampton Saints in Guinness Premiership semi-final

Saracens edge Northampton Saints in Guinness Premiership semi-final

On Sunday Saracens edged out Northampton Saints 21-19 to reach their first ever Guinness Premiership final after a tense finish at a packed Franklins Gardens. If youve not seen the highlights yet, here they are.

Schalk Brits, form hooker and one of the players of the season in the premiership, scored a late try that was coolly converted by flyhalf Glen Jackson, giving Saracens the chance to meet Leicester in the final on May 29th, after they beat Bath 15-6.

Jackson had earlier converted tries by Alex Goode and wing Chris Wyles, but the try of the match would probably go to Saints, and Tongan prop Soane Tonga'uiha who charged towards the tryline with time up in the first half.

He ran it in from about 45m out, a run which included a bit of a dummy, a step, and a handoff. Fellow prop Brian Mujait also scored, but it was Saracens who held their nerve to drive over for that late try to Brits.

On a sidenote, Saracens coach Brendan Venter was given a 14 week touchline ban after he was found to have made inappropriate gestures towards a spectator when they played Leicester a few weeks back. That would mean he will have no contact with his side during the final. They have launched an immediate appeal.

"The tribunal found Venter guilty of conduct prejudicial to the image of the game, and imposed a 14-week touchline ban," said Chief executive Ed Griffiths.

"In essence, Brendan stood up to follow play during the match at Leicester because he was given a seat with a restricted view, half a dozen Leicester supporters complained and this has now resulted in a substantial touchline ban, which may keep him away from the team on the day of the Premiership final.

"We will immediately appeal against this decision, and the RFU have indicated the appeal will be heard before the final."

In other related news, Saints wing Chris Ashton received the award for Guinness Premiership Player of the Season last night. Ashton scored 16 tries in 20 games.

"My Dad passed away about two weeks ago," he explained. "It was his funeral yesterday and he helped me get to where I am in rugby and I would just like to say thank you.

"It has been a big year for me. It took me a while to get the hang of this game, coming over from rugby league, and I think I am finally getting the hang of it," he said.

Please note that you can also catch all the Guinness Premiership highlights in the e-player on the sidebar here. This was posted anyway though, as many have requested it to be featured. For tickets to the final, check out the sponsored message below.


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Posted at 11:28 am | 22 comments

Viewing 22 comments

Anonymous May 19, 2010 11:04 am

What a lot of dum decisions from the northampton scrumhalf the last minute. He should have passed it to the kicker for the dropgoal!

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ed_on_fire May 19, 2010 11:36 am

Fantastic match, this and the Toulon v Clermont game are great advertisements for rugby and for the knockout system at the end of the year.

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Maximus May 19, 2010 12:08 pm

This prop try is a masterpiece.

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j mallinder May 19, 2010 12:18 pm

i thought wayne barnes had a pretty ordinary game any one else think the same? maybe just my green and gold glasses

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stats May 19, 2010 12:23 pm

Great game... terrific stuff played by both sides.

Chris Wyles has had a terrific season, fantastic hit on Ashton in the first minute of that vid. The Eagles attack out wide is electric right now... interesting to see how they do at the world cup. What odds an upset against Italy? I doubt Clever and Smith will be enough in the pack... but they've certainly got the edge out wide.

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Frank May 19, 2010 1:07 pm

That's an amazing prop try! Please clip that and post it on RD!

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 1:15 pm

'Great game... terrific stuff played by both sides.

Chris Wyles has had a terrific season, fantastic hit on Ashton in the first minute of that vid. The Eagles attack out wide is electric right now... interesting to see how they do at the world cup. What odds an upset against Italy? I doubt Clever and Smith will be enough in the pack... but they've certainly got the edge out wide.'

Where has USA come into this regarding the world cup?!? :S im confused....

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jackohos May 19, 2010 1:54 pm

Tongawowee...

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Phil May 19, 2010 3:03 pm

Agree with the first post, Saints must be kicking themselves that they didn't at least make an attempt at the drop goal.

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 3:08 pm

Just a quick bit of advice to RD, but for the people who haven't seen the results of certain matches, it doesn't quite make sense to have the result in the title, and then say don't read on those who don't know the result!

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Hackney Griffin May 19, 2010 3:31 pm

@ Anonymous

Two of the USA's team play at Saracens, including Chris Wyles who has been in brilliant form. Coupled with Ngwenya's form for Biarritz and Clever's experience of playing Super 14 they should be stronger than ever next year.

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 3:45 pm

What a try by Tonga'uiha he has a bit of pace for the size of him!

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miner May 19, 2010 3:47 pm

Stronger than ever, but I'm not going to hold my breath for us at the WC. Hopefully, I'll be proven wrong.

But this post is about the Saracens-Northampton match. I'm glad Ashton got the award; he's had a terrific year, I'd say.

Haven't had the chance to watch the game, but from the highlights, it looks highly entertaining.

Frog in the commentator's throat at 4:16?

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 5:33 pm

And the morale of the story is... If you can't win rugby trophies, get some South Africans to do it instead

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Jimbo May 19, 2010 5:35 pm

Where was the defense for that prop try?! Truly shocking!

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 8:09 pm

Agreed with Jimbo... Poor defense and terrible technique. That aside it looked a cracking game. Saints really fluffed it at the end! Forcing the pick and drive

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 8:54 pm

I also agree with the first post. I'm surprised nobody is talking about that instead of what a good game it was. Great prop try btw!

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cheyanqui May 20, 2010 12:00 am

might just be the fat man try of 2010.

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Anonymous May 20, 2010 5:27 am

Huge hand off in the Tonga' try

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Greiffel May 20, 2010 6:41 am

'Just a quick bit of advice to RD, but for the people who haven't seen the results of certain matches, it doesn't quite make sense to have the result in the title, and then say don't read on those who don't know the result!'

I'm pretty sure that's not the case here, but thanks for the advice ;)

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Anonymous May 20, 2010 1:17 pm

What a prop try ! Last hand-off is epic !

But I doesn't understand what they did on the last action, poor decision by scrum-half

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Benson May 20, 2010 3:08 pm

Had this been in the Super 14, that prop try would have been slated for having a forward pass in it, and poor tackling. It's not the Super 14 though, so it's amaaaazing.

I personally think it's pretty good, but I'm sick of the double standards. Just enjoy the rugby folks, wherever it's from.

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