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Monday Jun 1, 2015

Saracens defeat Bath to win the 2014-2015 Aviva Premiership title

Saracens proved victorious in this year’s Aviva Premiership final as the London based side put on a dominant display to beat a Bath, who cruised to victory in their semi-final against Leicester, 28-16 at Twickenham.

Last years losing finalists and former 2011 champions showed their strength and power with three unanswered tries through Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Chris Wyles.

Saracens in fact led 25-3 at half-time, then survived a second-half revival from Bath, after a try from Jonathan Joseph and eight points from the boot of George Ford. 

The victory for Saracens is the first time a club outside of the top two in the table has won the competition, a victory that came in Saracens’ fourth final in six seasons.

Director of rugby Mark McCall was delighted with his sides victory saying that “To perform the way we did in the first half was exceptional and Bath were always going to come back in the second half and they showed what they were capable of, but we hung in there and are absolutely thrilled to win”

Bath on the other hand, find themselves still searching for their first title win since 1996, a now 19 year wait. Despite losing, Bath captain Stuart Hooper remained positive stating “It’s hugely disappointing but we need to make sure that we realise that it was not a wasted year. We worked hard and got to this point but we didn’t really do ourselves justice today.”

The game also brought with it a moment of controversy surrounding two of England’s stars, Owen Farrell and Anthony Watson. Farrell committed a high tackle on Watson early in the first half and ended Watson’s final prematurely.

The tackle went unpunished at the time and Farrell went on to inspire Saracens victory taking home the Man of the Match award. The tackle drew heavy criticism from Bath head coach Mike Ford who after the game said that he believed Farrell should have been sent off. 

Farrell has since been given a Citing Commissioner Warning (Level 1 Citing), which means that the incident was viewed as greater than a yellow card, but doesn’t quite meet a red card. The penalty is the equivalent to a post-match foul play yellow card, three of which would result in the player being subject to a disciplinary.

It was a fully deserved win for Saracens after a scintillating first half of rugby and a superb response to their extra time defeat against Northampton last year. 

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