Belfast Telegraph

Saracens boss Mark McCall basks in last kick drama

By Ronnie Ingram

Mark McCall has a Champions Cup semi-final to look forward to after Saracens centre Marcelo Bosch landed a match-winning penalty against Jonny Sexton's Racing Metro with the final kick of the game to guarantee English representation in the last four.

Leinster will fly the flag for Ireland after beating Bath 18-15 at the Aviva on Saturday but face the daunting prospect of a clash against defending champions Toulon in Marseille in the semi-finals on April 19.

Leinster coach Matt O'Connor said: "You are always relieved when you win a knock-out game. It was always going to be tough and hard fought."

Ulsterman McCall, Director of Rugby at Saracens, looked on as Bosch stepped up to take the 55-metre shot at goal after Racing Metro replacement Fabrice Metz had been penalised for diving over the top with only 10 seconds remaining on the clock.

The kick was at a slight angle and into the wind, but the Argentinian nervelessly steered his attempt between the uprights to seal a 12-11 victory at Stade Yves-Du-Manoir.

As a precaution, referee Nigel Owens and his touch judges were escorted from the pitch by security as boos rang out in protest at the Welsh official's decision to award the penalty.

Fly-half Charlie Hodgson kicked one penalty and full-back Alex Goode supplied six points to keep Saracens in sight.

Maxime Machenaud crossed for the game's only try in the 27th minute.

Saracens' victory has set up a last-four showdown with Clermont in St Etienne on April 18.

Toulon - going for a record third successive triumph - beat Wasps 32-18 at Stade Mayol. Clermont hammered Northampton 37-5.

  • Ballynahinch took a step closer to retaining their Ulster Senior League title with a 56-24 win over Banbridge at Ballymacarn Park.

Two of Roger McBurney's three tries were scored in a five-minute spell in the first quarter.

Hinch have now opened up a two-point gap at the top of the table over their only rivals Armagh and have a game in hand.

Hinch have a home game with City of Derry and an away fixture at Armagh on May 16 remaining.

Bann's Andy Morrison also scored a hat-trick of tries.

Armagh won 27-0 at Ards, Rainey defeated Queen's 41-28 and Dungannon lost 29-14 at home to Ballymena.

Belfast Telegraph


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