Last-gasp Chiefs end Saracens' double-double hopes
Exeter Chiefs ended Saracens’ double-double hopes on Saturday, with Sam Simmonds’ last-minute try securing a dramatic 18-16 semi-final victory over the Premiership champions at Sandy Park.
Having successfully defended the European Champions Cup last weekend, Sarries’ domestic defence was ended by last season’s runners-up, when Simmonds put down from a driving maul in the 79th minute.
Mark McCall’s side fell behind early in the second half but looked set to advance to the showpiece when replacement Mike Ellery acrobatically crossed with five minutes remaining, but it ultimately proved insufficient.
Mike Rhodes also had to be replaced in the early exchanges, but a pair of Owen Farrell penalties gave the visitors a six-point cushion.
Chris Wyles – starting due to Sean Maitland’s injury-enforced absence – went over in the corner but Farrell was unable to add the extras to leave the difference at two points.
Ellery, who replaced Ashton in the first half, flew over the top of Henry Slade to give Sarries a late lead and put them on the brink of a fourth straight final.
However, Slade atoned with a monstrous kick into touch that secured the lineout from which Simmonds drove in for the decisive score, booking a trip to Twickenham next weekend.
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) May 20, 2017
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