Clermont 17 - Saracens 28: McCall's side create history with Champions Cup glory

Clermont 17 - Saracens 28: McCall's side create history with Champions Cup glory

The Saracens fly-half scored 13 points as the holders of the European Rugby Champions Cup successfully defended their crown against ASM Clermont Auvergne in Edinburgh.

But Saracens then made all the play, missing a couple of good try chances by a bad pass and good defense until, nearly inevitably, captain Owen Farrell's delayed pass put fullback Alex Goode into a gap and over the line with seven minutes to go.

The victory made Saracens the fourth team to retain Europe's premier club title after Leicester, Leinster and Toulon while perennial bridesmaids Clermont, who have lost 11 of their 12 French championship finals, became the first to play in three finals and lose them all.

Saracens gradually tightened the noose though and their relentless pressure eventually opened the way for Goode to score their third try seven minutes from time.

Spedding's penchant for counterattacking made loose kicking hazardous, and the full-back set up his side's second try after 51 minutes, when he evaded three tacklers, and when the ball was moved left, Peceli Yato thundered into Ashton and Farrell, leaving the latter on his back and, after a pass out of the back of the flanker's left hand, Abendanon with an unobstructed run to the line.

"However, Clermont's good days are better than Saracens' good days".

Chris Ashton needs just one try to become the outright top try scorer in European Cup history.

Again the French team needed to respond, and they did so in spectacular style with a length-of-the-field try.

Both sides named line-ups befitting the occasion, with Sarries fielding all six of their British and Irish Lions call-ups while France internationals Scott Spedding, Lamerat, Camille Lopez, Sebastien Vahaamahina and Damien Chouly started for Clermont.

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Goode's perfectly weighted grubber was pounced upon by the 30-year-old, who ran in to bring up a landmark score.

Saracens took the field in a slow march, reminiscent of Scotland's celebrated 1990 Grand Slam team but once the whistle blew the champions roared out of the blocks, and nearly scored through Ashton in the first 60 seconds.

But when Lopez failed to find the target with a drop-goal attempt, Saracens sensed a lull and drove their opponents 80 yards back before Farrell knocked over a simple penalty.

Billy Vunipola, a wrecking ball all game, threatened from a five-metre scrum but was bravely bundled into touch by a combination of Abendanon and Morgan Parra.

"There is no reason we can not get better and stronger given the age profile of the group". "We really attacked the game for the last 20 minutes, kicked behind them and put them under pressure, and I think we got what we deserved at the end. But we have never spoken in terms of how great a legacy we want to create".

England global Billy Vunipola added: "It's such an wonderful group of guys".

I suspect that Saracens will have a bit too much for them and I think they will win 22-15. They took the game away from Leinster in that semi-final and were 15-0 up in a blink of an eye, so, Saracens will need to be right on it from the start.

“Thats the way we are at the minute, were in a good place”. "It's not a nice feeling, but I'm assured we'll be there or thereabouts next year and we've got to hope next year is going to be our year".

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