A last-minute drop-goal from 2017 EPCR Player of the Year Owen Farrell gave Saracens a 19-16 win at Heineken Champions Cup Pool A rivals Gloucester Rugby in the Gallagher Premiership on Friday.
The three-time winners of EPCR’s leading competition, who have won both their opening games in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup, warmed up for their Round 3 tie at home to Lyon next Saturday by extending their lead at the top of the Premiership to 14 points.
Max Malins and Ivan van Zyl crossed in the first and second period respectively for Saracens’ two tries, with Ollie Thorley scoring a superb solo try for Gloucester in the first 40.
Santiago Carreras kicked 11 points for Gloucester, whereas Farrell, who is third in the all-time Heineken Champions Cup points-scorers list with 814, could only manage six from the tee, missing with four attempts. However, it was his late drop-goal that proved decisive.
ONE WEEK UNTIL WE'RE BACK
What a 2023 we've got in store for rugby 😍 #HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/b8ntDZ5HI4
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 6, 2023
In the United Rugby Championship (URC), there were victories for two other Heineken Champions Cup sides, both against EPCR Challenge Cup teams.
Munster Rugby strolled to a 33-3 home win over Emirates Lions, with Scott Buckley scoring a brace of tries, while Jack O’Donoghue, Paddy Patterson and Liam Coombes notched one apiece. Sixth in Pool B, they host Northampton Saints in Round 3 on January 14.
Meanwhile, Vodacom Bulls triumphed 29-14 at Dragons RFC with scores from Kurt-Lee Arendse, Harold Vorster and Bismarck Du Plessis adding to a penalty try. The South Africans currently sit seventh in Pool A and welcome Exeter Chiefs next Saturday for their third pool game.