May 19, 2018 / 2:21 PM / 10 months ago

Rugby-Saracens swat aside Wasps in thrilling Premiership semi-final

(Repeats fixing spelling of Maro in third para)

May 19 (Reuters) - Owen Farrell kicked 27 points as Saracens swatted aside Wasps 57-33 in an enthralling English Premiership playoff semi-final on Saturday to book their place at Twickenham on May 26.

The England flyhalf set his team on their way early in the first half, bursting through from halfway before laying off for Alex Lozowski to go over under the posts with less then three minutes gone.

Maro Itoje then powered to within inches of the line before prop Vincent Koch dived over to double Saracens’ lead as they swarmed all over their opponents.

Farrell added two first-half penalties to put Saracens 20-0 up before Wasps replied with a Willie Le Roux try, but a third penalty by Farrell sent his team into the halftime break with a comfortable lead.

Saracens began the second half like they did the first, with an early try, as Chris Wyles crossed in the corner to leave Wasps needing a miracle.

Prop Jake Cooper-Woolley kept Wasps alive by bullying his way over after a lineout and Jimmy Gopperth converted to cut the deficit to 18 points.

Danny Cipriani and Christian Wade then combined for Thomas Young to score under the posts as Wasps threatened an unlikely comeback, but Farrell struck another timely penalty with nearly an hour gone to give Saracens some breathing room.

The 26-year-old was at it again three minutes later, and though Le Roux kept Wasps in touch with another try just after the hour mark, Juan Figallo and Itoje crossed for Saracens to put the result beyond doubt.

There was still time for records to fall, with Wade scoring for Wasps and Ben Spencer adding another for Saracens late on to bring the curtain down on the highest-ever scoring Premiership semi-final.

Exeter Chiefs play Newcastle Falcons in the other semi later on Saturday. (Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis)

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