Few would’ve predicted underdog victories for both Saracens and Racing at the weekend, as they downed Leinster and Clermont respectively. Impressively for the English based side, that was the first time Leinster have tasted defeat in 497 days and their first home loss in the Champions Cup since December 2015.
The likes of British & Irish Lions Maro Itoje, Mako Vunipola and Jamie George led from the front with 51 tackles made between them, while South African duo Michael Rhodes and Vicent Koch managed three turnovers apiece – the most of any players from the weekend’s Champions Cup action. That result even came without linchpin Owen Farrell, though the fly half will still miss this semi-final against their fellow Pool 4 participants Racing 92.
Saracens 1-12 Point Winning Margin
The French outfit went W4-D1-L1 from their six matches in the group stages, splitting their two matches against Saracens, as whoever played at home took the honours. However, although Racing 92 won 30-10 in their own backyard back in November, the English side put out a second team on that occasion and so we’re hardly going to look into that result too much.
The Middlesex outfit have managed to win five of the six clashes between the two sides since the start of 2012, with four of their last five coming by a maximum of 12 points, so we’d be surprised if this didn’t go to the wire.
You have to feel that although Mark McCall’s charges are on the road yet again, having beaten what looked the best club in the world in their own backyard last weekend that they deserve favouritism for this one.
Of course, the French side may have won eight of their 11 matches on home turf over the last 12 months, but both Lyon and Bordeaux managed to get the better of them by small margins, while they drew with Agen in that time too and on that basis we’ll back Saracens to grind out another monumental result this weekend.