Saracens 13 - 27 Northampton

Match info: Premiership at

Date: 12/05/2013 KO: 15:00 Att: 9,998

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Saracens

TriesTaylor (65)ConversionsFarrell (65)PenaltiesFarrell (51, 55)

13
vs
27

Northampton

TriesMujati (21) Elliott (23) van Velze (59)ConversionsMyler (21, 23, 59)PenaltiesMyler (27, 73)

FT (ht: 0-17)

  • Last Updated: May 12 2013, 18:58 BST

Post-match reaction to Northampton Saints' 27-13 victory over Saracens.

Duncan Taylor gave Sarries hope with this try
Duncan Taylor gave Sarries hope with this try

Northampton stunned Saracens 27-13 to reach their first Aviva Premiership final after being inspired by Wigan's FA Cup heroics - and memories of their Heineken Cup nightmare.

Wigan overturned the odds to beat Manchester City at Wembley and Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder took that as proof that anything was possible for his underdog side at Allianz Park.

Northampton, who had finished 12 points behind table-toppers Saracens in the regular season, raced into a 17-0 half-time lead with tries from Brian Mujati and Jamie Elliott.

But no-one in the Saints changing room was complacent at the interval because, only two years ago, Northampton led Leinster 22-6 in the Heineken Cup final and went on to lose 33-22.

Owen Farrell kicked two penalties to keep alive any faint hopes of a Saracens comeback - but they were quashed when GJ Van Velze scored Northampton's third try just before the hour.

Saracens did engineer a consolation try from Duncan Taylor when Elliot was in the sin-bin but it was the Saints who marched on to Twickenham.

Asked about the inspiration he drew from Wigan's FA Cup win, Mallinder said: "They (Saracens) finished first and we were fourth. They were unbeaten here and we hadn't beaten them all season.

"We hadn't beaten a top three team and they clearly were the favourites today.

"But the favourites don't always win. I had a number of people reminding me of that after the Wigan-Manchester City game yesterday.

"We have had an up and down season. We have come in for a great deal of criticism along the way, a lot of that quite rightly.

"We have not beaten a top three team all season. We have known that. We have been reminded so many times.

"The players have responded. They have known they are good enough."

Mallinder decided not to mention the Heineken Cup final misery at half-time but he was thinking it, and so were the players. Tom Wood revealed it had been a key second-half motivator.

"We talked about that at half-time, that 'we have been in this position before and let it slip so it was a huge motivation and it was on our minds," Wood said.

"We knew the next score was going to be crucial. We knew there would be a reaction and we did let them into the game a little bit.

"But we dug in. We were under enormous pressure on our line at times, our lineout defence was good, our maul defence was good and we hung in there."

Northampton were driven on by a thunderous performance from Sanu Manoa, with the front row of Dylan Hartley, Mujati and Soane Tonga'uiha dominant as Saints won the physical battle.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: "It is a massive disappointment.

"We gave ourselves a mountain to climb at half-time. Northampton put us under a lot of pressure especially in that first half and we made a lot mistakes.

"Northampton were very, very good today, extremely physical and their defence was outstanding.

"We showed in patched in the second half what we were capable of and we gave it a real go but the first half was very un-Saracens like."


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