Wasps fail to match Sarries knock-out run

LONDON Wasps yesterday failed to join Saracens in securing European final action next month – and director of rugby Dai Young admitted they had only themselves to blame.

Saracens will take on defending champions Toulon in the Heineken Cup final in May after recording the largest ever semi-final winning margin in the weekend’s 46-6 hammering of Clermont Auvergne. Toulon beat Munster 24-16 yesterday.

Yet the Amlin Challenge Cup final will be without a London side, after two second-half tries from Rob Webber gave Bath a 24-18 victory over Wasps at Adams Park.

“It was similar to most of the season. We worked our socks off to get our points, turning pressure into points is never easy, but then we gave them points very cheaply,” said Young.

“It wasn’t through lapses in our defence but lapses in our communication or accuracy. We gave too many cheap points away and, against a quality team such as Bath, that is always going to hurt you. In the latter stages of any competition you have to be accurate because the sides you come up against are good enough to score their own points without you giving them points.”

Saracens had no such problems a day earlier at Twickenham, Chris Ashton scoring two tries to set a new competition record of 11 scores for a single season while Owen Farrell, Chris Wyles and Tim Streather also went over in addition to a penalty try. Clermont scored with just two penalties.

Sarries’ director of rugby Mark McCall said the performance from his Premiership leaders was one of their best of the season.

“I thought it was a phenomenal performance. It was built on incredible effort and work-rate,” said McCall. “The plan was to put them under pressure that they had not been under all season and I think we achieved that.”

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