Saracens beat Leicester to win Premiership final

Leicester 18-22 Saracens

Saracens were crowned English rugby's league champions for the first time when they overcame perennial finalists Leicester 22-18 in a gripping Premiership final at Twickenham on Saturday.

The match was a repeat of last year's final, which Leicester snatched at the end for their ninth title.

But this time Saracens scored the game's only try through James Short and came home via the boot of ice-cool 19-year-old fly-half Owen Farrell who kicked the remaining points.

Leicester, who finished top of the standings in the regular season, were appearing in the final for the seventh year in succession while it was Saracens' second, and their victory brought the London club their first silverware since winning the knockout Cup in 1998.

The score was 6-6 after 20 minutes with two penalties apiece for Farrell and Toby Flood, despite Leicester losing scrumhalf Ben Youngs to the sin-bin five minutes into the match.

Saracens, though, gradually took command and scored the opening try after half an hour when another blasting run from irrepressible hooker Schalk Brits and Alex Goode opened the way for winger Short to cross.

Farrell landed the touchline conversion but another Flood penalty reduced the deficit to 16-9 at the break.

Farrell added another three-pointer just after the restart and, though Leicester looked more businesslike, Flood missed two out of three penalty opportunities when he could have made it a one-point match.

Remarkably, Saracens had decided on their starting scrumhalf with the toss of a coin. Neil de Kock called correctly and played the opening 50 minutes, with Richard Wigglesworth coming on as his planned replacement.

Saracens, who beat Leicester home and away in the league this season, had to dig deep defensively as their vastly experienced opponents gradually ratcheted up the pressure but they gave away another penalty after 68 minutes which Flood landed to bring his team back within four points.

Farrell, the son of former England union and league international and current assistant Saracens coach Andy, showed the nerve of a veteran to stretch it back to seven with another shot from the touchline, only for Flood to reply immediately.

Giant wing Alesana Tuilagi then looked set to score the try Leicester needed, only to be hauled down brilliantly by Brits.

Leicester's forwards were camped on the line in a furious series of late surges that went through 33 phases and deep into stoppage time but this time Saracens were not to be denied.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam