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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 19 September, 2019
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Saracens and Exeter score six tries apiece on path to final showdown

England’s leading sides will meet in the decider for the third time in four years.

Tompkins celebrates a try.
Tompkins celebrates a try.
Image: Paul Harding

SARACENS POWERED THEIR way into a fifth Premiership final in six years with a commanding 44-19 win over Gloucester, while Exeter Chiefs ensured the predicted final will come to pass as they swatted aside Northampton Saints 42-12.

For Exeter, it will be a fourth consecutive appearance in the final thanks to a six-try display of their own with Harry Williams, Joe Simmonds, Dave Dennis, Tom O’Flaherty, Sam Simmond and Sam Hill all crossing.

Reigning champions Saracens rode an early bump from Gloucester when Ben Morgan finished off a brilliant sweeping third-minute move. It takes more than that to rattle the European champions, however.

Gloucester could not win the restart and Owen Farrell used the platform to kick into the path of Sean Maitland to score. Farrell missed the conversion but was on target after 17 minutes to nudge his side ahead and a brilliant show-and-go from Maro Itoje set up Ben Spencer for a run under the posts to make it 15- 7 on the half hour.

Saracens v Gloucester Rugby - Gallagher Premiership - Semi-Final - Allianz Park Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann pre-match. Source: Paul Harding

By that stage, Nick Tompkins had been introduced off the bench for an injured Brad Barritt. It was 23-7 by half-time as Alex Lozowski out-jumped Danny Cipriani and then set Liam Williams away to the right corner where the out-half wasn’t able to force the Welsh star into touch. 

The second half was Tompkins’ time to strike: the replacement finished off twice in the first 10 minutes of the second half after his side built pressure on a creaking Gloucester and he completed his hat-trick before the hour, dancing through flailing tackles as the double-chasers brought the scoreline to 44-7.

With Saracens bringing big guns to the safety of the bench, and outgoing Munster man Mike Sherry introduced for the visitors, Ruan Dreyer and Lewis Ludlow put the gloss on the scoreboard for David Humphreys’ side.

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Sean Farrell

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