Saturday 17 August 2019

Saracens deliver goods without Farrell

Saracens 56 Glasgow 27

Saracens' Liam Williams celebrates scoring a try at Allianz Park. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Saracens' Liam Williams celebrates scoring a try at Allianz Park. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Mark McCall revealed Owen Farrell was hopeful of making Saracens' rout of Glasgow less than an hour before kick-off, despite the imminent birth of his first child.

Munster await in the Champions Cup semi-finals after the Warriors were crushed at Allianz Park by a Saracens team missing their playmaker-in-chief, who was in hospital with his wife Georgie.

As the kick-off approached, Farrell called McCall to tell him he still had every intention of playing.

"We had a rough cut-off point. His wife went into labour last night. At half eight this morning he was pretty confident it would all happen, but it didn't," the Saracens boss said.

"He did phone me at two thirty and say 'in the next half hour'... I said 'Owen, the game starts at 3.15! I don't actually know if he's had the baby yet. But the important thing was that he was where he should have been - with his wife."

The landslide win against Glasgow would have been Farrell's first match since the end of England's Six Nations campaign and McCall wants him in action before the semi-final against Munster in Coventry on April 20.

George Kruis wins a lineout for Saracens. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Adam Holt
George Kruis wins a lineout for Saracens. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Adam Holt

"He hasn't played here for the last two weeks so he'll be keen enough to get back out there," McCall said.

Even without Farrell, Saracens amassed seven tries in the most conclusive of their three victories over Glasgow this season, although the win was marred by an ankle injury sustained by captain Brad Barritt.

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The visitors bagged the first try in the second minute through Ali Price, but the hosts responded through Liam Williams inside five minutes, before Alex Lozowski, who took over kicking duties from Farrell, knocked over a penalty.

Momentum swung to Saracens as David Strettle and Barritt forced their way through the Glasgow defence.

Saracens' Jamie George gets over the line to score a try during their Champions Cup quarter final match at Allianz Park, London. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Saracens' Jamie George gets over the line to score a try during their Champions Cup quarter final match at Allianz Park, London. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Two penalties from Glasgow fly-half Adam Hastings reduced the hosts' lead to nine, but second-half tries for Williams, Strettle, Jamie George and Nick Tompkins sealed a convincing win for Saracens.

Saracens' David Strettle scores their fifth try. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Adam Holt
Saracens' David Strettle scores their fifth try. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Adam Holt
Saracens' director of rugby Mark McCall. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
Saracens' director of rugby Mark McCall. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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