Toulouse 17-28 Saracens

Saracens v Toulouse

Saracens have reached the quarter-finals for a fifth consecutive season

Saracens beat Toulouse to make it six wins from six in the Champions Cup.

The Premiership champions had already secured a home quarter-final, while their French opponents’ hopes of progressing were over.

Three kicks from Charlie Hodgson and a superb score from Ben Spencer gave the visitors a 12-point advantage.

Toulouse fought back through Maxime Medard’s try and two from Luke McAlister, but Owen Farrell’s three penalties made sure of the Sarries win.

Veteran fly-half Hodgson, who is set to retire at the end of the season, looked in imperious form as he kicked Sarries into a 9-0 lead with two penalties and a drop goal.

Toulouse finally got themselves in order, and they went over in their first attack of the game. Saracens wing Duncan Taylor failed to deal with McAlister’s chip, thanks to a brilliant tackle from Toby Flood, and the ex-New Zealand fly-half crashed over.

After the break, England’s Farrell replaced 35-year-old Hodgson and he kicked a penalty before converting Spencer’s brilliant try, which he touched down from a chip-and-chase on the counter attack.

Farrell then suffered an embarrassing fumble, as he dropped the ball over the line while attempting to touch down, but he made amends with a try-saving tackle to stop Yacouba Camara going over for the hosts.

McAlister got his second score of the game to bring Toulouse back into the contest, and the four-time European champions added a third when Medard finished off in the corner after some superb work by Paul Perez on the wing.

But two Farrell penalties in the final seven minutes settled Sarries and they kept their 100% record in the competition.


Toulouse: Clement Poitrenaud; Vincent Clerc, Toby Flood, Florian Fritz, Paul Perez; Luke McAlister, Jean-Marc Doussain; Gurthro Steenkamp, Corey Flynn, Nemiah Tialata, Romain Millo-Chluski, Patricio Albacete (capt), Yacouba Camara, Imanol Harinordoquy, Gillian Galan.

Replacements: Christopher Tolofua, Cyril Baille, Gert Muller, Joe Tekori, Gregory Lamboley, David Mele, Gael Fickou, Maxime M├ędard.

Saracens: Alex Goode; Duncan Taylor, Marcelo Bosch, Brad Barritt (capt), Chris Wyles; Charlie Hodgson, Neil de Kock; Richard Barrington, Schalk Brits, Juan Figallo; Jim Hamilton, George Kruis; Michael Rhodes, Jacques Burger, Jackson Wray.

Replacements: Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Petrus du Plessis, Hayden Smith, Billy Vunipola, Ben Spencer, Owen Farrell, Ben Ransom.

Referee: Nigel Owen (WRU)

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