FALLEN English title holders Saracens bounced back from yesterday’s news that they will be automatically relegated from the English Premiership next season to claim victory over Racing 92 this afternoon, which books their place in the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions Cup at Glasgow Warriors’ expense.
Dave Rennie’s Glasgow side started the day occupying the eighth and final Champions Cup slot after a convincing win over Sale Sharks in the final pool match on Saturday evening, but knew that both Saracens and Gloucester could jump ahead of them if they picked up wins on Saturday. Saracens duly delivered, despite having second-row Will Skelton to a red card for dangerous tackle in the 39th minute and trailing 17-21 at the turnaround, with the Londoners showing their fabled fighting spirit to finish an awful week for the club with a heroic win. A try from Maro Itoje, plus a conversion and a penalty from Owen Farrell, secured the 27-24 victory.
Warriors, meanwhile, have paid the price for inconsistency across the whole pool campaign, with their round four defeat at home to La Rochelle, just seven days after beating the Frenchmen at the Stade Marcel Deflandre, being the biggest regret.
Rennie also suggested after Saturday’s match that his team could have taken five points instead of three from last week’s home draw against Exeter Chiefs, but that doesn’t feel like quite so much like a golden opportunity missed against one of the big favourites in this year’s tournament.