Saracens ready for Champions Cup final

Warren Gatland makes no apology over Lions meeting in Champions Cup final week

Gatland defends Lions meet-up

Clermont lost the final for the third time in five seasons, the previous two to Toulon.

"If we're hungry enough and humble enough, then there's no reason why we can't get better", McCall said.

You are only remembered if you go and win the titles and Clermont have faltered so many times at the last hurdle.There always seems to be a steely resolve about them but that seems to go when the pressure comes on in those winner-takes all games.

Clermont desperately needed to score next and did just that as Saracens conceded their first try in the opening half of a Champions Cup match this season.

The current Aviva Premiership Rugby champions are still on course for a historic double-double - with a domestic semi-final at Exeter Chiefs next weekend to look forward to after this triumph.

A win for the English side would also see them create history by setting a new record for the number of unbeaten games in the Champions Cup at 18, they're now tied with the Leinster team that avoided defeat between 2010 and 2012.

"However, Clermont's good days are better than Saracens' good days so if we are playing well, we can win".

"I just feel sorry for Sean, because he's done brilliantly for us this season and has been a first-choice selection in all of our big games so far".

Ashton needed one try to set a new competition record of 37 but at the moment he contemplated how exaggerated his dive over the line should be, his marker, Nick Abendanon, who had not initially tracked the run, swept along the five-metre line and prevented the holders from making the flawless start.

Now Farrell's conversion attempt hit a post, and that was followed by an optimistic 49-metre penalty shot landing short in a tricky wind - but maybe the decision itself spoke of the early confidence surging through Saracens.

Goode found captain Brad Barritt in support and, after he had made ground, lock Kruis - one of six England players in Saracens' starting XV picked for the British and Irish Lions upcoming tour of New Zealand - came from deep and crashed over in the 21st minute, with Farrell converting. Against Leinster, they kicked out of hands 19 times - compared to Saracens 34 times against Munster in their semi-final.

Farrell converted for 25-17, with his dad Andy, the Lions assistant coach, looking on, and when Lopez missed a penalty from middling range soon afterwards, having earlier put a drop-goal shot wide, courageous Clermont knew the game was up.

Owen Farrell capped off a memorable night at BT Murrayfield by being named EPCR European Player of the Year - presented by Turkish Airlines. "We didn't give up, we didn't break, but Saracens were favourites and it showed", said Franck Azema, the French club's head coach. "We weren't able to reverse the pressure". Camille Lopez, 9. Morgan Parra; 1.

Saracens: Tries: Ashton, Kruis, Goode.

That left the stage for Farrell and Goode to finish off a superb final.

Clermont Auvergne: S Spedding (P Fernandez 71); D Strettle, A Rougerie (D Penaud 53), R Lamerat, N Abendanon; C Lopez, M Parra (L Radosavljevic 75); R Chaume (E Falgoux 22), B Kayser (J Ulugia 67), D Zirakashvili (A JArvis 77), A Iturria, S Vahaamahina (P Jedrasiak 46), D Chouly, P Yato (A Lapandry 62), F Lee.

Referee: N Owens (Wales).

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