Sunday, 30 May 2010
The Guinness Premiership Final: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The lead changed hands five times during the course of the game. Just when Saracens thought they had snatched the win as Glen Jackson slotted over a penalty with four minutes on the clock, Leicester conjured a try from the resulting restart and substitute Dan Hipkiss stormed over to clinch the cup.
33-27 was the final score. Breathless rugby. It's almost impossible to sit here and write "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" for this game, because as finals go it was top drawer entertainment.
But here goes anyway.
Toby Flood: One of the key men for Leicester, and he delivered in spades. Only missing one kick from the tee, Flood controlled the game well.
Dan Hipkiss - The Tigers centre has been sidelined with injury of late, but he made the biggest impact in the match when he came on from the bench and steamrollered his way over for the winning try.
Geordan Murphy - Who stepped aside when it was time to lift the cup and gave the captains honour to departing stars Lewis Moody and Ben Kay. I thought that was really sweet.
Attacking rugby - Both teams played expansively and threw everything into the game. It was refreshing to see teams almost forget it was a final and go out and play. Take note Toulouse and Biarritz.
Ernst Joubert - Two tries for the Sarries skipper, which sadly for his side, was just not enough.
No Brendan Venter - Saracens' director of rugby (and everyone's favourite panto villain) was forced to watch the game at home after failing to get his ban overturned. A real shame. Venter has been one of the real characters this year, adding colour and spice to the game. I know he's not everyone's cup of tea, but I think he is brilliant.
Defence - But who cares when it gives you entertainment like that? Well, the defence coaches might I suppose...
Not respecting the kicker - Sarries' fans booed when Flood lined up a couple of his kicks. I know it's not the done thing, but in such a massive game and when they thought they had been hard done by, I can't really blame them.
I can't think of anything. No really, I can't. This game was everything I wanted a final to be.
Oh there is one thing: the fact that I will have to wait until September until the league starts again for the new season.