Saracens retain European title with victory over Clermont

Lola the sheep dog- dressed as a Lion- sits as the Lions team prepare for a team

Lola the sheep dog- dressed as a Lion- sits as the Lions team prepare for a team

Saracens secured back-to-back Champions Cup glory as they disposed of Clermont Auvergne 28-17 at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. Get a full report and reaction.

The defeat for Clermont is their third from three in the final of a European flagship competition after 2012-13 and 2014-15.

Saracens gradually tightened the noose though and their relentless pressure eventually opened the way for Goode to score their third try seven minutes from time.

Clermont against Leinster looked out on their feet and started to do things individually - that is not to say what they did was not wonderful - but the second you go out on your own makes you very vulnerable.

Wing Abendanon did well to haul down Ashton as he looked set to race through just moments after kick-off.

It began with a loose kick deep into Clermont territory: Scott Spedding ran it back, evading three would-be tacklers then recycling.

All that was left for the former England winger was to dust down his trademark "Ash splash" as he celebrated his record-breaking 37th European Cup touchdown.

As impressive as Saracens were playing, it was doing nothing to generate a buzz among the 55,272-strong Murrayfield crowd. Parra added the extras.

Clermont had scored more tries - 16 - than any other side in the first 40 minutes of matches in this season's tournament, but it was Saracens who came within yards of an opening try in the second minute on a rain-sodden pitch.

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Nick Abendanon's second half try on 52 minutes and Morgan Parra's conversion left one point between the sides at 15-14.

Owen Farrell hit a post with his conversion attempt, then was just short with a 19th-minute penalty, but Sarries' next score was only delayed by a couple of minutes.

It was a record 18th match unbeaten in the competition, but centre Brad Barritt said all that mattered was keeping the trophy.

"There is no reason we can not get better and stronger given the age profile of the group".

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. "This game is not going to define our group, we are going to stay together a lot longer". "But we have never spoken in terms of how great a legacy we want to create".

England global Billy Vunipola added: "It's such an awesome group of guys". They don't get to see me play very often so that means a lot. Obviously we still have next week but I will celebrate tonight with the lads and enjoy it.

Clermont try scorer Nick Abendanon said: "This team has got a lot of belief".

Fly-half Farrell was named European Player of the Year after the final whistle, following in the footsteps of teammate Maro Itoje who won in 2016, and admits the closeness of the squad played its part once again.

He does not believe the missing players are disruptive to the rest of the team, saying: "I think if we let it be it can, but we just have make sure on days like today we get our learning done for the weekend so we feel confident going into it".

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