Saracens out to ruin Wilkinson’s retirement party in Cardiff
Saracens reached their first Heineken Cup final with a record-breaking demolition job on last season’s runners-up Clermont Auvergne and are now 5/4 to lift the cup at the Millennium Stadium next month.
The English club set new European Cup semi-final records by scoring the most points by a team (46) in the last four, crossing the line for the most tries scored by a side (6) and posting the biggest winning margin (40).
There was also individual glory for England winger Chris Ashton as he opened the scoring at Twickenham to set a new Heineken Cup record of 11 tries in a campaign.
And their reward is a date with last year’s winners Toulon and English rugby hero Johnny Wilkinson, who is set to retire at the end of the season, in the showpiece final.
England’s World Cup winning fly-half did what he does best in the other semi-final as his six penalties and a drop goal edged Toulon past Munster and into the final.
The French side are the 4/6 favourites for victory in Cardiff and they will be confident of overcoming a Saracens side they beat in last year’s semi-final.
Wilkinson was a thorn in the Saracens side that day as he scored all of Toulon’s points as the French side won 24-12 at Twickenham.
The Top 14 leaders are 10/11 with bookmaker to overcome a -3 handicap once again and beat Saracens, who are on at the same price with a +3 handicap, to win back-to-back Heineken Cups.
In the Amlin Challenge Cup Northampton and Bath overcame Harlequins and Wasps to set up an all-English final at Cardiff Arms Park.
Saints, who beat three-time winners Quins 18-10 at Franklin’s Gardens, are the overwhelming favourites at 8/15 to repeat their 2009 success.
But Bath, who ended a six-year wait to reach a cup final, will be a tough test for Jim Mallinder’s men after they beat Wasps 24-18 at Adams Park.
The Rec outfit, who are still in the race for the Aviva Premiership play-offs, are 11/8 to win the Amlin Challenge Cup.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.