Saracens bravery and effort sensational, but not enough

Saracens haven’t been my favourite cup of tea this season. Both Guinness Premiership matches I’ve been too this season have been watching London Irish against Brendan Venter’s side (I’ll point out this is highly out of character, but living in Madrid causes such problems.) The Right Said Fred song, Venter’s attitude, and the frequent discussion of the nationalities of their playing squad have all been topics talked about amongst both supporters and the press this season often from a negative stand point. Yet come the final whistle on Saturday, none of it mattered anymore.

Sarries gave such a brilliant performance at Twickenham against Leicester that all that mattered was how they played, not who was representing them. Glen Jackson in his last game before retirement was simply awesome at 10, complimenting his legendary predecessor in that shirt, Michael Lynagh. His dummy for the first try and a beautiful inside ball at one point to Michael Tagicakibau where complimented by his as always strong tactical and place kicking. His heart and soul where there in every bit of play, especially the kick on 76 minutes which put Sarries ahead by 1. He must have thought then, that the perfect ending was not far off. The same can be said for Ernst Joubert, the number 8 and captain. His two well taken tries capped what has been an incredible first season for the South African. Along with fellow backrower Andy Saull, the young English openside, Saracens have had so many stand out performers this season. Schalk Brits, the Guinness Premiership player of the year springs to mind as well.

All in all, Saracens will only improve next season, given the quality of the signings they have made, the likes of Matt Stevens, David Strettle and Richard Wigglesworth. Whilst they may have been a surprise this season, they will definitely be contenders come the next.

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