Chris Ashton emotional after helping Saracens taste more European glory

Taylor Byrd
May 14, 2017

This victory made Saracens the fourth club to win consecutive titles after Leicester, Leinster and Toulon, but they can now boast the longest unbeaten run in the competition, with 17 wins and a draw from the last two campaigns.

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.

Parra made it 14-15, Farrell added a second penalty to give his side a modicum of breathing space, but then another Parra penalty closed the gap to a single point again.

This was their third loss in as many European Cup finals, with Clermont also beaten in 11 of their 12 appearances in France's domestic Top 14 final, and meant more heartache for their loyal "Yellow Army" of passionate fans.

"We have an understanding of how they play but it was good to speak to him about certain aspects and have a deeper understanding".

First Chris Wyles drove into risky territory before Goode shunted the English champions to within touching distance of the posts.

Ashton needed one try to set a new competition record of 37 but at the moment he contemplated how exaggerated his dive over the line should be, his marker, Nick Abendanon, who had not initially tracked the run, swept along the five-metre line and prevented the holders from making the ideal start.

"There is something different about them compared to other French teams".

Saracens flanker Michael Rhodes secured line-out ball which found its way to Farrell, looping round.

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

To beat Saracens, Clermont will need to start as they did against Leinster in the semi-final and keep going at that pace.

A five-metre scrum presented the chance to strike, with Fritz Lee and Morgan Parra combining to feed Aurelien Rougerie.

With just a point in it and the momentum apparently in Clermont's favour, lesser sides might have folded, but Saracens pride themselves on their mental strength as much as anything and they took a vice-like grip on the game.

"That being said, I think if we look back on the squad that we had for the Champions Cup Final a year ago there are probably likely to be 19 out of that 23-man squad available this time, which is a good sign". "We look after each other and that's really important".

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

"The age profile of the group is good and the manner in which we won was encouraging".

A magical Clermont try in the 52nd minute, started from his own line by Scott Spedding and finished a bewitching blur later by Nick Abendanon raised hopes that the perennial bridesmaids might at last have their day in the sun but it was a flailing blow from a team on the ropes.

Saracens will now turn their attention to trying to complete the double-double - they face Exeter away in the Premiership semi-finals next week.

Clermont were fortunate to a try-saving tackle from Nick Abendanon that they weren't 5-0 down in the opening minute, yet just five minutes later they conceded the game's opening try to Chris Ashton. "We went after them in the last 10 to 15 minutes and got our rewards".

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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