Then there were two, here is how we got to the teams that will contest the final of the LV= Cup possibly the last one ever.
How did your predictions go?
First here is a link to my predictions.
0 out of 2, total disaster. Well maybe I should keep things in perspective, this is the least predictable of the competitions.
Saracens v Northampton Saints
Saints came out strong and dominated the first half with the wind. They kicked off the scoring with 2 penalties but rued the fact that they knocked on with a try begging. IT wasn’t all one way traffic though and Saracens were clinical when they got their chance. Strettle finished off the try but the conversion didn’t go over. Saints continued to dominate but only managed a converted try for the rest of the half to lead 5-13 at half time.
Saracens blitzed the start of the second half with a try from a first phase move off the line out. A penalty took the lead and further two stretched that towards the hour mark. Myler and Dickson came on at that point and quickly got a converted try that got them within one point. But that’s as close they got as a Saracens drop goal was the only remaining score.
Key Stat: Tackles made/missed Saracens 170/11 Saints 84/11
Saracens kept themselves in the game in the first half when Saints were dominant. Then with the wind at their back they took full advantage to come back.
Perhaps I should have known better as Saracens did win the A league this year.
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs
Tigers took an early lead when Benjamin broke from his own half and a phase later the Rizzo (prop) bashed over from close. Exeter hit back with a converted try of their own from a driving maul off a close lineout. This was turning in a fest of front row tries as it was Exeter’s hooker who touched down. Tigers took the lead again though a penalty but Exeter soon after took the lead back that they wouldn’t relinquish. Again playing out of their own half, Tigers this time had a pass intercepted that was easily run under the posts. A penalty to both sides meant it was 16-20 at the break.
Exeter stretched their lead with an early penalty but that was cancelled out by a Bell drop goal. Just after the hour mark Exeter had their fullback sent to the bin but managed to survive only giving away three points. Exeter then sealed the win with a mother try by a front row forwards. This time it was the replacement hooker from another catch and drive lineout.
Key Stat: Tackles made/missed Tigers 88/10 Chiefs 155/31
This was a reason in resolute defence and taking your opportunities when they are there. Tigers led in territory, possession, meters made, etc… but weren’t clinical enough when they needed to be.