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World Goode guides relegated 'together' Saracens to Champions Cup semi-finals

20:30  19 september  2020
20:30  19 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

Leinster-Saracens still huge showdown despite lack of lustre

  Leinster-Saracens still huge showdown despite lack of lustre Leinster-Saracens still huge showdown despite lack of lustreLONDON (Reuters) - When the European Cup quarter-final draw pitted Leinster against holders Saracens in a repeat of last year's final, rugby aficionados were counting the days, but now the game has finally arrived the marquee match has lost some of its sheen.

Alex Goode scored 19 points as holders Saracens beat four-time winners Leinster 25-17 to reach the final four of the European Champions Cup on The English side, who will be relegated from the Premiership due to salary cap breaches, will travel next Saturday to the winner of Clermont's later tie

Alex Goode scored 19 points as holders Saracens beat four-time winners Leinster 25-17 to reach the final four of the European Champions Cup on Saturday in a re-run of last season's final . The English side, who will be relegated from the Premiership due to salary cap breaches, will travel next Saturday

John Bateman et al. playing football on a field: Alex Goode will leave Saracens for Japan's NEC Green Rockets at the end of the season © Glyn KIRK Alex Goode will leave Saracens for Japan's NEC Green Rockets at the end of the season

Alex Goode scored 19 points as holders Saracens beat four-time winners Leinster 25-17 to reach the final four of the European Champions Cup on Saturday in a re-run of last season's final.

The English side, who will be relegated from the Premiership due to salary cap breaches, will travel next Saturday to the winner of Clermont's later tie with Racing 92.

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Saracens reached the semi - finals of the European Champions Cup after pulling off a major upset to knock out Leinster 25-17 in Dublin.

On paper, European Champions Cup top seeds Leinster were going to win their quarter-final with Saracens every day Alex Goode 's try helped Saracens to a 22-3 half-time lead against Leinster. Leicester have been given a free ride into the Challenge Cup semi - finals after three Castres players

"There's been set-back after set-back," the visitors' captain Brad Barritt told BT Sport. "The togetherness of this group shone through today."

"We've had to show a huge amount of character by playing in games that didn't mean anything and today was about fighting for something tangible," the centre added.

Goode deputised at fly half for England captain Owen Farrell who is serving a five-match ban for a dangerous tackle.

Ireland's Johnny Sexton returned to Leo Cullen's starting lineup after being named on the bench for last weekend's Pro14 final victory over Ulster.

Goode had his side 9-3 ahead after 10 minutes with three penalty goals at an Aviva Stadium without fans due to coronavirus restrictions in Ireland.

Sexton kicked one of own after five minutes but two monster kicks from the tee by England full-back Elliot Daly stretched the Sarries lead to 15-3.

Inspired Iribaren kicks Racing into Saracens semi-final

  Inspired Iribaren kicks Racing into Saracens semi-final Scrum-half Teddy Iribaren slotted 20 points to send Racing 92 into the European Champions Cup semi-finals with a 36-27 victory at Clermont on Saturday. The Parisians will host Saracens in seven days' time after the relegated English champions stunned four-time winners Leinster 25-17 in Dublin earlier. Japan's Kotaro Matsushima started at full-back for the hosts after missing last weekend's late defeat at Bayonne with a thigh issue. Racing'sThe Parisians will host Saracens in seven days' time after the relegated English champions stunned four-time winners Leinster 25-17 in Dublin earlier.

The irresistible Anglo-French affairs of Racing v Saracens and Exeter v Toulouse are the pick of this weekend’s sport and can puncture the myth international rugby is the only show in town.

Jim Hamilton and Andy Goode preview the Champions Cup final between Leinster and Saracens .

European Player of the Year Goode stretched the lead to 22-3 with a try and a conversion four minutes to go in the half.

Scotland centre Duncan Taylor burst through the Irish defend and off-loaded to Goode who crossed and then converted.

The home side improved in the second half and Ireland prop Andre Porter powered over after 48 minutes.

Sexton's extras cut the lead to 12 as the comeback attempt started.

Jordan Larmour scored from a smooth backline move and Saracens' advantage stood at 22-17 with a quarter of an hour to play.

Goode and Daly missed penalties within the closing five minutes to keep the hosts' hopes alive.

But with 25 seconds to go Goode made sure of  a semi-final with a simple effort to knock-out the record four-time champions.

Later, Japan's Kotaro Matsushima returns for Clermont but the visitors will be without Australia's Kurtley Beale who is suspended.

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Richard Wigglesworth said Saracens ’ victory over Leinster was in part down to a determination to show their success in Relegated Sarries inflicted Leinster’s first loss since 2019 final. Saturday’s 25-17 European Champions Cup victory over Leinster at the Aviva Stadium earned them a semi - final on

In sharp contrast, Saracens , already relegated from the Premiership, are Alex Goode (left) and Itoje (centre) will have to win on Saturday without the banned Owen Farrell (right) “At Saracens we are used to competing for trophies in all competitions and being involved until the end of those competitions.

On Sunday Cheslin Kolbe's Toulouse welcome Ulster and Exter Chiefs face Northampton.

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Exeter primed for Toulouse test, says Baxter .
Exeter Chiefs know there is still a job to be done and are not resting on their laurels after reaching their first European Champions Cup semi-final, says director of rugby Rob Baxter. "It does not feel that we were relieved to get past Northampton (in the quarter-finals) and reach the semi-finals. We were relieved to get past them for different reasons, namely because we were favourites." © GEOFF CADDICK Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter "There is no feeling in this club that that is enough and that the players are wearing big smiles on their faces having won the lottery," he added.

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