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- European Rugby Champions Cup
- Semi Final
- 26th Apr 2014
- KO 15:40
- Ground: Twickenham
- Att: 27,000
Heineken Cup: Saracens crushed Clermont Auvergne to reach final
- Habana: Toulon want history
- Rougerie doubt for Clermont
- McCall: Saracens have evolved
- Sarries wary of Sivivatu
- Wilkinson fit to face Munster
- Vunipolas up for Clermont test
- McCall targets strong start
- Cotter - We can cope
- Armitage back in England frame
- Brilliant Brits silences Clermont
- Wilko through to Cup final
- Cup exit gutting for Munster
- Try of the Weekend: Ashton
- Moment of the Weekend: Earls' yellow card
- Heineken Cup Tries - Semi-Finals
- Heineken Cup Hits - Semi-Finals
- Habana makes swift return
- Penney: Too many errors cost us
Saracens reached the Heineken Cup final for the first time with a 46-6 win over Clermont Auvergne at Twickenham.
The Aviva Premiership leaders never looked back after building an 18-point interval advantage through a penalty try and touchdowns by wing Chris Ashton and fly-half Owen Farrell.
Ashton's second try after the break gave him a new record of 11 touchdowns in one European season, while substitutes Chris Wyles and Tim Streather also scored, and Saracens could even afford for Farrell to pass on goalkicking duties to full-back Alex Goode.
England No 10 Farrell had not practised while he recovered from a foot injury, and Goode slotted five conversions plus a penalty as Clermont were reduced to rubble.
Centre Marcelo Bosch added a long-range penalty for good measure, with Clermont scrum-half Morgan Parra landing two first-half strikes as Saracens closed out a 40-point success.
The runaway Aviva Premiership leaders will take on Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon or twice European champions Munster - they meet in Marseille on Sunday - in the final at the Millennium Stadium on May 24.
And there could be few complaints from last season's beaten finalists Clermont, who were desperate to reach a second successive Heineken final in coach Vern Cotter's farewell season before he takes charge of the Scotland national team this summer.
Once Ashton pounced for his 10th Heineken try of the campaign, matching former Brive wing Sebastien Carrat's total when the French club were crowned European champions 17 years ago, Saracens never looked back.
A contentious penalty try followed, but when Farrell crossed eight minutes before half-time there was no way into the contest for a Clermont side that never left second gear.
Saracens made a dream start in blustery conditions as Ashton claimed his season record-equalling Heineken try following superb approach work by Goode, hooker Schalk Brits and centre Brad Barritt.
Goode landed the touchline conversion with his first kick after taking the tee from Farrell, and although Parra opened Clermont's account shortly afterwards, drama quickly ensued.
Clermont's Wales international full-back Lee Byrne saw an attempted defensive clearance partially charged down, and when fly-half Brock James challenged Bosch for possession in the air, it led to a penalty try.
Owens went to television match official Gareth Simmonds for guidance and the ruling was that James had deliberately nudged the ball behind the dead-ball line, preventing the probability of a try.
Goode added the extras for a second time and Clermont's sense of injustice continued as Owens ruled out a Benson Stanley score for crossing in midfield by Clermont flanker Damien Chouly.
Saracens, meanwhile, continued going about their business, and a third try arrived nine minutes before half-time that again needed TMO approval.
The Clermont defence was stretched as Saracens moved possession wide and Ashton's inside pass found Farrell, who initially appeared to have knocked on before gathering a kind bounce, touching down and celebrating.
But video replays showed the ball bounced off Farrell's knee and a try was rightly awarded, with Goode following his conversion by kicking a penalty to put Saracens 24-6 at half-time.
Out-of-favour England international Ashton sealed the deal 15 minutes from time, Saracens could think ahead to Cardiff after a one-sided contest few could have predicted.
They became the fifth English club to contest a Heineken final after Leicester, Bath, Northampton and Wasps before the tournament changes course next term and becomes the Rugby Champions Cup.
There was still time for Wyles and Streather to rub further salt into a gaping Clermont wound with Saracens' fifth and sixth tries that completed a stunning effort by England's current top club.Heineken Cup. Click here to bet.
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Friday 17th October|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Castres|
|Saturday 18th October|
|13:00||Sale vs Munster|
|15:15||Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne|
|19:45||Leicester vs Ulster|
|15:15||Glasgow vs Bath|
|17:15||Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton|
|Sunday 19th October|
|17:15||Leinster vs Wasps|
|15:15||Toulon vs Scarlets|
|13:00||Toulouse vs Montpellier|
|13:00||Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso|
|Friday 24th October|
|19:45||Munster vs Saracens|
|Saturday 25th October|
|13:00||Ulster vs Toulon|
|19:45||Scarlets vs Leicester|
|15:15||Bath vs Toulouse|
|17:15||Montpellier vs Glasgow|
|17:15||Northampton vs Ospreys|
|Sunday 26th October|
|13:00||Clermont Auvergne vs Sale|
|15:00||Castres vs Leinster|
|17:15||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|17:15||Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92|
|Saturday 6th December|
|TBC||Munster vs Clermont Auvergne|
|TBC||Sale vs Saracens|
|TBC||Castres vs Wasps|
|TBC||Harlequins vs Leinster|
|TBC||Ulster vs Scarlets|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com