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Shaw lauds "magical" Ellery

Saracens assistant coach Joe Shaw hailed Mike Ellery as a player with "magical ability" after the wing's superb second-half try helped his side into the LV= Cup final at the expense of Northampton.

Saints led 13-5 at the interval but Ellery's brilliant score two minutes into the second half saw momentum shift to Saracens and they went on to record a 24-20 win.

Shaw, Saracens' skills coach, said of the powerful wideman: "He came to us from Sevens and was extremely raw. He works very hard on the training ground and is very analytical but we are really excited about him as he has magical ability.

"We would have liked to have fired off more shots before the interval but we played the elements very well as there was a strong wind out there."

The victory puts Saracens through to next Sunday's final at Franklin's Gardens, where they will meet either Exeter or Leicester.

Shaw added: "It was a very tough game against an incredibly strong pack so we are chuffed to be in the final as it will continue to be a learning curve for this group."

Saracens skipper and man of the match, Maro Itoje, said: "It's was all about the result and it's a special moment to be in the final.

"We knew at half-time that it would be easier in the second half with the wind in our favour."

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder pinpointed Ellery's try as the "killer blow" as his side's hopes of an LV= Cup final on their own ground went up in smoke.

He also rued Saints' inability to build a bigger lead before the break.

He said: "To have the final at Franklin's Gardens would have been ideal, it's something we have been targeting.

"We should have been further ahead at the interval and to concede Ellery's try so soon after the interval was the killer blow.

"Sarries played well in slowing our ball down but we didn't play well enough over the whole 80 minutes."


From Belfast Telegraph