Ospreys draw keeps Saracens alive in Champions Cup

13 January 2018 23:31

Saracens stayed alive in the Champions Cup but are unable to win Pool 2 after they were held to a 15-15 draw by the Ospreys in Swansea on Saturday.

The defending champions arrived at the Liberty Stadium knowing defeat would result in their elimination from the competition, but the game ended all square after coming down to a kicking contest between Owen Farrell and Dan Biggar.

Pool leaders Clermont Auvergne's shock 34-21 defeat to Northampton Saints earlier in the day had given both sides hope of reeling in the Top 14 side and the Welsh region head to France next weekend three points adrift.

Sarries' final fixture sees them welcome Northampton, whose Clermont triumph was their first of the campaign.

Mark McCall's men led 9-6 at the interval but were dealt a blow when Billy Vunipola, who made his return from knee surgery last weekend, did not emerge for the second half due to a wrist problem, which will have England looking on nervously as the Six Nations nears.

Farrell kicked his way past Diego Dominguez into fourth on European rugby's all-time highest scorers' list during the second 40, but he was outscored after the break by Biggar as the Ospreys salvaged the draw with a late penalty.

Sarries had seen Chris Wyles sin binned after 65 minutes for a poor tackle on Sam Davies but the Ospreys were unable to make the extra man count as the decisive score evaded them.

Northampton ended their three-month wait for a Premiership win at home to Gloucester last time out and, while they had already been eliminated from Europe, their unexpected victory over Clermont blew the pool wide open.

Ulster edged in front of La Rochelle at the top of Pool 1 thanks to a 20-13 win at Ravenhill, while Wasps' hopes were dented by Harlequins' first win of the competition in a thrilling 33-28 result at The Stoop.

Wasps had James Haskell sent off for a dangerous tackle on Jamie Roberts four minutes from time, before James Chisholm crossed to complete a remarkable turnaround, with Quins having trailed 28-12 midway through the second half.

In the day's remaining match, Exeter Chiefs kept their hopes alive with a thumping 41-10 win over Montpellier that closed the gap on Pool 3 leaders Leinster to four points.

The Irish province could wrap up top spot when they take on Glasgow Warriors on Sunday.

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