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Saracens see off Glasgow to advance to quarter-finals as top seeds

The English side will pose a serious threat to Leinster’s European crown this season.

Itoje and Vunipola celebrate Saracens' win.
Itoje and Vunipola celebrate Saracens' win.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

SARACENS SAW OFF a furious challenge from Glasgow Warriors to win 38-19 at Allianz Park on Saturday and clinch first place in Pool 3 and the top seed in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals.

Saracens had won their first five games to ensure a last-eight spot. Glasgow had already qualified on Friday without playing when Scottish rivals Edinburgh beat Montpellier 19-10.

That result sealed last-eight spots for both Scottish teams. Edinburgh won Pool 5 while Glasgow were guaranteed, at the least, one of the slots for the three best second-place teams in the five pools.

On Saturday, in a frenzied opening 30 minutes the Warriors looked capable of matching Saracens blow for blow.

After Ben Spencer finished a sharp break by David Strettle in the seventh minute, Glasgow rapidly hit back twice.

In the ninth minute winger Tommy Seymour touched down in the corner. Four minutes later, scrum half Ali Price galloped through an uncharacteristically disorganised Saracens defence to put the Warriors ahead.

Vincent Koch restored the home lead after 17 minutes.

Again Glasgow quickly hit back with Ryan Wilson scoring three minutes later.

Alex Goode and Siosiua Halanukonuka Alex Goode in action at Allianz Park. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Hard-hitting Saracens back row Billy Vunipola then crashed over for the sixth try in the first 30 minutes.

After that Sarries, who led by five points, began to stifle Glasgow’s free-running rugby.

In the last 11 minutes, as the Scots wearied, the home team ran in two more tries through Maro Itoje and Will Skelton to make the result secure for the winners of this trophy in 2016 and 2017.

“This game was by no means easy,” Itoje told BT Sport after the final whistle. “They challenged us physically and played a very expansive brand of rugby.”

In the other Pool 3 game, Cardiff Blues scored six tries as they beat visiting Lyon, 33-14. The result meant Lyon ended the pool without a point, a first for a French club.

© – AFP 2019  

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