Former winners Munster and Saracens to meet in Champions Cup semis


Paris (AFP)

Saracens hammered Glasgow 56-27 and Munster claimed a tight 17-13 victory over Edinburgh on Saturday to secure a Champions Cup semi-final meeting between the two European heavyweights.

Despite Ali Price's first minute try for Glasgow, the English side, champions in 2016 and 2017, claimed half a dozen unanswered tries in the space of an hour for a sixth European semi-final spot in seven seasons.

Wales full-back Liam Williams and England winger David Strettle both dotted down for two touchdowns each for Sarries who played without international fly-half Owen Farrell who pulled out of the match three hours before kick-off due to his wife going into labour.

"I'm very lucky I have a great team around me, the boys didn't blink and didn't show any nerves or worries around me," Farrell's replacement at stand-off Alex Goode told BT Sport.

"We've played them in the semi-finals before, we know what a great side they are, they have a lot of physicality, a lot of passion and they've played very well today to come through," Goode added about the Irish province.

Ireland's Keith Earls scored twice for 2006 and 2008 champions Munster either side of the break in the Scottish capital to secure a 14th last-four appearance as they look for their first title in nine years.

"It's our third semi-final in a row and this was a big win for us. Just look at the history of European rugby, you don't come away with away quarter-final wins," said head coach Johann Van Graan.

His team's win was only the 20th occasion in 90 matches that the away side had claimed a quarter-final victory on the road.

"Munster never seem to do it the easy way and we certainly didn't do that today," the South African added.

Saracens will host Munster at Coventry's Ricoh Arena on the weekend of April 20/21.

Defending champions Leinster welcome Ulster in the third quarter-final later Saturday before an all-French affair between Racing92 and Toulouse on Sunday.