Match Centre: Champions Cup: Saracens 39-24 Lyon

Maro Itoje scored two tries for Saracens
Maro Itoje scored two tries for Saracens

Saracens 39-24 Lyon, Pool 1, StoneX Stadium

Saracens scored four second half tries as they defeated Lyon 39-24 at the StoneX Stadium to make it to the Round of 16 of the Investec Champions Cup.

The win meant Saracens finished fourth in the group stage with 10 points while Lyon also secured a passage to the knock out with 12 points despite the defeat.

Saracens dominated the opening exchanges as Ivan van Zyl touched down in the third minute after a quick tap penalty but the conversion from Owen Farrell, who has been linked with a move to Racing 92 drifted wide.

Lyon struck back in the 14th minute when Davit Niniashvili intercepted a pass and then ran 80 metres as he forced his way over the line Léo Berdeu kicked a conversion and followed it with a penalty goal to take the scoreline to 5-10.

At the stroke of half time, the French side extended the lead further as Josiah Maraku bundled over from close range and Berdeu was once again spot on with the conversion ensuring they finished the opening half with a 5-17 lead.

Saracens showed better intent in the second half as a great pass from Billy Vunipola allowed Maro Itoje to touchdown but his effort was cancelled out when Maraku completed his second in the 45th minute making it 12-24. The gap came down to nine points with Farrell landing a three-pointer in the 50th minute before Itoje completed his second at the back of a line out.

Farrell kicked the conversion and a penalty goal as the score became 25-24 before Juan Martin Gonzalez breached through the defence of Lyon to dot down with Lyon losing Davit Niniashvili to yellow card. With a player down by the 68th minute, the pressure from Saracens were too much to handle for Lyon as wing Lucio Cinti crossed for a fifth to complete a much needed win for Mark McCall's men.

Team line up:

Saracens: Goode; Segun, Daly, Tompkins, Cinti; Farrell (capt), Van Zyl; Mulipola, Dan, Judge, Itoje, Isiekwe, Gonzalez, Earl, B Vunipola.

Reserves: Hadfield, Crean, Hoskins, Tizard, Knight, Simpson, Hartley, Parton.

Lyon: Tchaptchet; Ioane, Parisien, Maraku, Niniashvili; Berdeu, Rimet; Rey, Charcosset, Kaabeche, Kpoku, Vignolles, Okuya, William, Gouzou.

Reserves: Coltman, Taofifenua, Tafili, Goujon, Lambey, Dumas, Godwin, Smith.


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table