2017 European Rugby Champions Cup Final

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2017 European Rugby Champions Cup Final
Event 2016–17 European Rugby Champions Cup
Date 13 May 2017
Venue Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Man of the Match Billy Vunipola
Referee Nigel Owens (WRU)
Attendance 55,272
2016
2018

The 2017 European Rugby Champions Cup Final was the final match in the 2016–17 European Rugby Champions Cup, and the twenty-second European club rugby final in general. It was contested by defending champions Saracens of England and French side Clermont at Murrayfield Stadium, in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Saturday 13 May 2017.[1][2] Saracens retained the trophy after claiming a 28–17 victory.[3][4]

Background

Reigning champions Saracens entered the final aiming to defend their title, having won the Champions Cup for the first time when they defeated Racing 92 by 21–9 in the 2016 final. The club was also looking to break the record for most unbeaten European fixtures in a row, after matching the record of 17 held by Leinster. Meanwhile, Clermont were seeking their first top-tier European trophy, following two prior defeats in the 2013 and 2015 finals, both to Toulon. For the second year running, Welsh referee Nigel Owens officiated the Champions Cup final – in doing so, he also became the first official to referee 100 European club rugby matches.

Route to the final

Note: In all results below, the score of the finalist is given first (H: home; A: away).

France Clermont Round England Saracens
Opponent Result Pool stage Opponent Result
England Exeter Chiefs 35–8 (A) Matchday 1 France Toulon 31–23 (A)
France Bordeaux Bègles 49–33 (H) Matchday 2 Wales Scarlets 44–26 (H)
Ireland Ulster 32–39 (A) Matchday 3 England Sale Sharks 50–3 (H)
Ireland Ulster 38–19 (H) Matchday 4 England Sale Sharks 24–10 (A)
France Bordeaux Bègles 9–6 (A) Matchday 5 Wales Scarlets 22–22 (A)
England Exeter Chiefs 48–26 (H) Matchday 6 France Toulon 10–3 (H)
Pool 5 winner
Team
P Pts
France Clermont 6 26
France Bordeaux Bègles 6 14
England Exeter Chiefs 6 12
Ireland Ulster 6 10
Final standings Pool 3 winner
Team
P Pts
England Saracens 6 24
France Toulon 6 16
Wales Scarlets 6 11
England Sale Sharks 6 4
Opponent Result Knock-out stage Opponent Result
France Toulon 29–9 (H) Quarter-finals Scotland Glasgow Warriors 38–13 (H)
Ireland Leinster 27–22 (H) Semi-finals Ireland Munster 26–10 (A)

Match

Summary

After both teams enjoyed attacking spells in the opening 10 minutes without putting points on the board, Saracens opened the scoring when the ball was spread towards the right wing to Alex Goode, who placed a grubber kick behind the Clermont defenders which was collected by Chris Ashton. The try, which could not be converted, saw Ashton overtake Vincent Clerc as the top try scorer in European rugby history. Saracens extended their lead soon after when George Kruis powered over from close range for the team's second try, this time converted successfully by Owen Farrell. A short time later, Clermont responded when a break by Aurélien Rougerie set up Remi Lamerat for their first try of the game, converted by Morgan Parra. This left the half-time score at 12–7 to Saracens.

In the second half, the first ten minutes again went scoreless, until a Farrell penalty. Clermont then brought the game to within just one point via a team move, which started with Scott Spedding counter-attacking from his own try line and ended with Nick Abendanon going over for the try, converted again by Parra. Following an exchange of penalties between Farrell and Parra, which kept the scoreline at a one-point advantage to Saracens, each team had try-scoring opportunities, but to no avail. Finally, in the closing stages, Saracens made their persistent pressure count when Goode crossed the line for a try in the corner, with Farrell landing a difficult conversion from out wide. With one last penalty, Saracens cemented their victory at 28–17, becoming only the fourth reigning champions in the tournament's 22-year history to successfully retain their title.

Saracens Number 8 Billy Vunipola was named the official Man of the Match, while fly-half Owen Farrell was presented with the 2017 ERCC Player of the Year Award. In securing victory, Saracens also achieved a record 18 consecutive unbeaten European games – a record stretching back to the first round of the 2015–2016 cup.

Details

13 May 2017
17:00
Clermont France 17 – 28 England Saracens
Try: Lamerat 26' c
Abendanon 51' c
Con: Parra (2/2) 27', 53'
Pen: Parra (1/1) 60'
Report Try: Ashton 12' m
Kruis 21' c
Goode 72' c
Con: Farrell (2/3) 22', 73'
Pen: Farrell (3/3) 50', 57', 78'
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 55,272
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
FB 15 France Scott Spedding Substituted off 71'
RW 14 England David Strettle
OC 13 France Aurélien Rougerie Substituted off 54'
IC 12 France Remi Lamerat
LW 11 England Nick Abendanon
FH 10 France Camille Lopez
SH 9 France Morgan Parra Substituted off 75'
N8 8 New Zealand Fritz Lee Substituted off 64' Substituted in 66'
OF 7 Fiji Peceli Yato Substituted off 61' Substituted in 64' Substituted off 66'
BF 6 France Damien Chouly (c)
RL 5 France Sébastien Vahaamahina Substituted off 46'
LL 4 France Arthur Iturria
TP 3 Georgia (country) Davit Zirakashvili Substituted off 77'
HK 2 France Benjamin Kayser Substituted off 67'
LP 1 France Raphaël Chaume Substituted off 23' Substituted in 26' Substituted off 54'
Substitutions:
HK 16 Australia John Ulugia Substituted in 67'
PR 17 France Etienne Falgoux Substituted in 23' Substituted off 26' Substituted in 54'
PR 18 Wales Aaron Jarvis Substituted in 77'
LK 19 France Paul Jedrasiak Substituted in 46'
FL 20 France Alexandre Lapandry Substituted in 61'
SH 21 France Ludovic Radosavljevic Substituted in 75'
FH 22 Argentina Patricio Fernandez Substituted in 71'
CE 23 France Damian Penaud Substituted in 54'
Coach:
France Franck Azéma
FB 15 England Alex Goode
RW 14 England Chris Ashton
OC 13 Argentina Marcelo Bosch
IC 12 England Brad Barritt (c) Substituted off 54'
LW 11 United States Chris Wyles Substituted off 79'
FH 10 England Owen Farrell
SH 9 England Richard Wigglesworth Substituted off 79'
N8 8 England Billy Vunipola
OF 7 England Jackson Wray Substituted off 61'
BF 6 South Africa Michael Rhodes
RL 5 England George Kruis
LL 4 England Maro Itoje Substituted off 79'
TP 3 South Africa Vincent Koch Substituted off 79'
HK 2 England Jamie George Substituted off 51'
LP 1 England Mako Vunipola Substituted off 77'
Substitutions:
HK 16 South Africa Schalk Brits Substituted in 51'
PR 17 United States Titi Lamositele Substituted in 77'
PR 18 South Africa Petrus du Plessis Substituted in 79'
LK 19 Scotland Jim Hamilton Substituted in 79'
FL 20 South Africa Schalk Burger Substituted in 61'
SH 21 England Ben Spencer Substituted in 79'
FH 22 England Alex Lozowski Substituted in 79'
CE 23 Scotland Duncan Taylor Substituted in 54'
Coach:
Ireland Mark McCall

Man of the Match:
England Billy Vunipola (Saracens)

References

  1. ^ "Clermont reach Champions Cup final as Camille Lopez seals win over Leinster". Guardian. 23 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Saracens reach Champions Cup final as Chris Wyles seals win over Munster". Guardian. 22 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Clermont Auvergne 17-28 Saracens: European Champions Cup final – as it happened". Guardian. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Saracens 28-17 Clermont: Sarries win thriller to retain Champions Cup". Daily Telegraph. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
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