AP NEWS

Saracens win 3rd European Cup rugby title in 4 years

May 11, 2019

NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Saracens won a third European Champions Cup in four years when it overcame defending champion Leinster from 10-0 down to win their final 20-10 on Saturday.

“We spoke in the last six weeks about being the toughest team, not in a physical capacity but the mental toughness it takes to win these big games,” Saracens captain Brad Barritt said. “It’s about soaking up pressure and responding when you get the opportunities. We knew when we went down 10 points there was so much left in the tank.”

Leinster used the advantage of a yellow card for Saracens flanker Maro Itoje to scrum, from which prop Tadhg Furlong scored a converted try and 10-0.

But Saracens flyhalf Owen Farrell kicked a penalty conceded by counterpart Jonathan Sexton, and deep in injury time Farrell helped to set up Sean Maitland in the corner for the half to finish 10-10.

In the second, Leinster flanker Scott Fardy was yellow-carded and from the resulting penalty Farrell kicked Saracens ahead. The English side secured victory 13 minutes from time when No. 8 Billy Vunipola picked up from the back of a five-meter scrum and shrugged off four defenders to reach the try-line.

Leinster was pinned in its 22 for the rest of the match, thwarting its hope of a record fifth European crown.

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