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Gallagher Premiership Playoffs | Final
May 27, 2023 at 3pm UK
Sale Sharks
Sale Sharks
Penalty (22'), Malins (34'), Daly (67'), van Zyl (71')
van der Merwe (31'), Roebuck (45'), Rodd (52')

Saracens beat Sale Sharks to win sixth Gallagher Premiership title

Saracens beat Sale to win sixth Premiership title
© Reuters
Saracens beat Sale Sharks 35-25 at Twickenham to win their sixth Gallagher Premiership title, and their first since 2019.

Saracens have won the Gallagher Premiership title for the first time since 2018-19 courtesy of a 35-25 victory over Sale Sharks at Twickenham this afternoon.

A topsy-turvy battle between the division's best two teams this season lived up to expectations at Rugby HQ, but it was ultimately Saracens who ran out victorious to claim their sixth Premiership title, with only Leicester Tigers having now been crowned champions more often.

Sale, meanwhile, were back on the biggest stage for the first time since 2006 but fell short in their bid to claim just a second Premiership title in their history.

England teammates Owen Farrell and George Ford traded penalties, while there was a stoppage as protestors took to the Twickenham field, before the first try came from a penalty try, with Tom Curry also being sent to the bin for tackling Max Malins off the ball when he was certain to touch down.

However, Sale fared well despite their temporary numerical disadvantage and even levelled things up before being restored to their full complement as Akker van der Merwe burrowed over from close range.

No sooner had Curry returned to the field than Saracens hit back, though, with man of the match Farrell expertly delaying his pass to send Malins through for the score.

Sale, led by former Saracens stalwart Alex Sanderson, refused to take a backward step and scored their second try of the final towards the start of the second half, with Van der Merwe again proving decisive, albeit this time in a less familiar role.

The hooker danced through a hole in the defence to race clear before chipping the ball through and, while the kick was slightly sliced, it still proved too difficult for Elliot Daly to handle as Tom Roebuck stole in to score.

Daly thought that he had immediately atoned for his error when he touched down at the other end moments later, only for the TMO to spot that his boot was in touch when he collected the ball.

Another Farrell penalty nudged Saracens a little further clear on the scoreboard, but Sale took the lead soon after when Bevan Rodd bounced off a couple of tackles to battle over the line.

Sale's dreams of a first title in 17 years began to grow as time ticked on, but this decorated group of Saracens players showed their championship expertise in the closing stages to take the game away from the Sharks.

They were given a helping hand, though, as a charged-down kick led to Saracens turning the ball over in the Sale 22 and working it out to Daly, who went over in the corner.

Just four minutes later, another Malins break ultimately led to the score which put Sarries out of reach, although Sale initially appeared to have scrambled brilliantly to deny them the all-important try.

With an on-field ruling of no try, the TMO overturned the decision after spotting that the point of the ball had touched the line, rather than being held up.

Farrell's conversion extended the lead to 10 points with less than 10 minutes remaining, and Saracens safely saw out the remainder of the game to banish the demons of last year's final, when they were beaten by Leicester Tigers courtesy of a last-minute drop-goal.

The victory sees Saracens join Bath and Wasps on six Premiership titles overall, with all of those having come since 2010.

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Saracens head coach Mark McCall pictured on September 5, 2020
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