Saturday 1 October 2016

People had two very different reactions to Saracens' Champions Cup final win this afternoon

Published 14/05/2016 | 19:43

LYON, FRANCE - MAY 14:Saracens celebrations during the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Racing 92 and Saracens at Stade de Lyon on May 14, 2016 in Lyon, France.
LYON, FRANCE - MAY 14:Saracens celebrations during the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Racing 92 and Saracens at Stade de Lyon on May 14, 2016 in Lyon, France.

Saracens outfought Racing Metro to record a deserved 21-9 victory this afternoon in a rain-soaked Champions Cup final in Lyon.

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It was the club's first European Cup win and the first victory by an English team since 2007.

While the English side are hardly beloved by Irish fans, nobody can question the team's greatness. Led by an outstanding pack featuring Grand Slam-winners like Maro Itoje, George Kruis and Billy Vunipola, Sarries have the ability to pulverise opponents up front while also slicing them open out wide through the guile of Owen Farrell, Chris Ashton and Alex Goode.

And while their ability to mix those two styles has been commendable all season, today was just a dogfight, plain and simple. Dan Carter going off injured at half time, coupled with the atrocious weather contributed to one of the least exciting finals in recent years.

It was the first time since 2005 that there wasn't a try in the European Cup final, and while some people might enjoy tough battles in the trenches, most fans seemed extremely unhappy with the spectacle.

Most Irish supporters were already unenthusiastic given the provinces absence from the showpiece, and today's rugby wouldn't have done much to get them interested.

The reaction among rugby people seemed split into two camps - those who enjoyed seeing a brilliant Saracens side finally reach the pinnacle of club rugby and those who will lament the loss of those 80 minutes forever more.

Will Greenwood defended Saracens' tryless performance, saying it 'was a day to win ugly', and some others agreed with him.

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