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Saracens Clinch First League Title
Farrell kicks 17 points as Sarries win their first league title
Posted Jun 01, 2011 by Chris White
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Despite finishing second in the league table, it was Saracens who were crowned the 2010/11 Aviva Premiership champions, after avenging their defeat to Leicester in last season’s final.
The London side were crowned champions of England for the first time in the club’s history when they were inspired to a 22-18 victory by teenager Owen Farrell’s boot at Twickenham.
19-year old Farrell kicked five penalties and converted James Short’s 28th-minute try – the only points not to come from the boot in the match.
For every bit as good as Farrell’s kicking was for Sarries, Toby Flood’s kicking for Leicester in the second half was poor. The England fly half missed two golden chances for points that the majority of the 80,000 crowd would have expected him to make normally.
Tigers, the reigning champions for the past two seasons and the side that topped the league table after the regular season, never really threatened the Saracens line and were certainly way below their normal standards. Saracens, meanwhile, showed why they could well be the next major force from England in the coming seasons, as they became the fifth Premiership champions since the introduction of the Premier division in the 1997/98 season, following Leicester, Wasps, Sale and Newcastle to the crown.
Whether it was the absence of Manu Tuilagi from the Leicester side after his punch on Chris Ashton in the semi final or not, Tigers were way below par in a final they should have won considering the momentum they had as a side. Especially with the number of finals they have played in, they just know how to win finals.
Saracens’ last trophy was the 1998 Tetley’s Bitter Cup, when they beat Wasps 48-18, but a first English league title is now theirs after a 135-year wait. They were in no mood to be denied their title, even after Leicester brought on Players’ Player of the Year Thomas Waldrom, who was surprisingly left on the bench, and as much as Leicester huffed and puffed at the Saracens line towards the end, the defence stayed strong and Steve Borthwick was able to lift the Premiership Trophy to the delight of the Sarries supporters at Twickenham.