EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) Saracens won successive European Rugby Champions Cups when it beat Clermont 28-17 in a rousing final at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Saracens always led, but Clermont came back to trail by only one at 18-17 in the 60th minute. But Saracens then made all the play, missing a couple of good try chances by a bad pass and good defense until, almost inevitably, captain Owen Farrell’s delayed pass put fullback Alex Goode into a gap and over the line with seven minutes to go.
Farrell converted for 25-17, Morgan Parra missed his first goalkick that would have revived Clermont’s dying hopes, and Farrell capped the scoring with his third penalty. The competition’s leading scorer kicked over 13 points.
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Saracens is only the fourth team to successfully defend the title after fellow English side Leicester in 2001-02, Ireland’s Leinster in 2011-12, and France’s Toulon in 2013-14-15.
Clermont lost the final for the third time in five seasons, the previous two to Toulon.
Goode helped Saracens blast off with a chip for winger Chris Ashton to pick up and score the opening try, and his competition-record 37th, surpassing Vincent Clerc.
Goode then had a big hand in the buildup to lock George Kruis’ try as Saracens improved to 12-0.
Clermont rebounded with a Remi Lamerat converted try to trail 12-7 at halftime.
Farrell and Parra traded penalties, and Clermont continued its revival with a 90-meter counterattack capped by a Nick Abendanon try from a superb offload by flanker Peceli Yato.
That left the stage for Farrell and Goode to finish off a superb final.
Saracens 28 (Chris Ashton, George Kruis, Alex Goode tries; Owen Farrell 2 conversions, 3 penalties), Clermont Auvergne 17 (Remi Lamerat, Nick Abendanon tries; Morgan Parra 2 conversions, penalty). HT: 12-7