TREVISO (20) vs SARACENS (26)
SARACENS boss Mark McCall hailed loan signing Peter Stringer after the Premiership champions fought back to become the only English side to reach the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
England stars David Strettle and Mauritz Botha notched tries and Owen Farrell landed six vital kicks as Sarries confirmed their status as Pool Five winners and set up a home tie against Clermont Auvergne.
Their Italian opponents made them battle, however, and Ireland scrum-half Stringer typified a gritty team performance with one try-saving tackle on Treviso lock Antonio Pavanello.
“Peter has been a great signing for our club,” McCall said. “He was one of the better players today. His work-rate and his aggression on our line was brilliant.”
Stringer, signed as cover for injured No9s Richard Wigglesworth and Neil de Kock, is two months into a three-month loan from Munster and it remains unclear whether he will still be at Vicarage Road come the quarter-finals. Saracens trailed 17-13 at half-time and McCall added: “In the second half we dug in, and I have nothing but admiration for the way we got the job done.”
Premiership rivals Harlequins and Northampton failed to progress from their groups.
LAST EIGHT | HEINEKEN CUP
Munster v Ulster
Leinster v Cardiff Blues
Edinburgh v Toulouse
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne
Ties to be played 6/7/8 April