Semi – Final Review
So it is Toulon and Saracens into the Heineken Cup final on May 24th after the weekend’s semi final action in London and Marseilles. Saracens did a clinical and ruthless job on Clermont Auvergne at Twickenham winning 46-6 with tries from Owen Farrell and Chris Ashton along with a try from Chris Wyles. Also a solid kicking display from Alex Goode helped Sarries on their way.
Jaques Burger was Saracens key man on this occasion making 27 tackles and stopping every Clermont attack at source. This is down to the defensive system put in place by Paul Gustard called the “ Wolfpack” defence.
Coach Mark Mc Call can now plan for a European final with his captain Steve Borthwick and off the back of such a dominate display in a semi final winning the game in record fashion. Can Sarries now put in another huge shift and win a first Heineken Cup title , only time will tell !!
2nd Semi Final
Toulon are through to their 2nd final in a row after a 24 -16 win over Munster and are on course to win a Heineken Cup , Top 14 double. With the help of Jonny Wilkinson ‘s boot and some poor Munster discipline, Toulon went into a 15-9 lead in reply Ian Keatley added 3 penalties for Munster. Just before half time Delon Armitage kicked a huge penalty to put Toulon 18-9 up at the break. This was the first nail in the Munster coffin.
After the break Munster did come out with renewed vigour and scored a try through Simon Zebo and a conversion from Ian Keatley after Steffon Armitage had a try chalked off for a foot on touch. Munster were on the front foot for the next ten minutes but when Keith Earls was sin binned for tackling a player without the ball , Wilkinson kicked another penalty to stretch the Toulon lead to 21-16.
Munster then got one final chance in the 71st minute when they won a penalty and kicked for the corner and won the line out but their maul was sacked and with that went Munster ‘s last chance , Wilkinson Kicked a late penalty to put Toulon 24-16 up and into their 2nd straight final. Who would bet against Toulon making it two from two in Europe certainly not this writer….