Bar­ritt full of praise as Sar­ries claim fourth ti­tle

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - SPORT -

BRAD BAR­RITT hailed Sara­cens’ “re­lent­less ap­petite to im­prove” af­ter they se­cured a fourth Aviva Premier­ship ti­tle with vic­tory over Ex­eter at Twick­en­ham.

A 27-10 win ended the Chiefs’ ti­tle reign and gave Sara­cens a third top-flight ti­tle in four sea­sons.

It also com­pleted a mem­ora- ble turn­around from los­ing seven suc­ces­sive games in all com­pe­ti­tions dur­ing Novem­ber and De­cem­ber, in­clud­ing a 46-14 home drub­bing by Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup op­po­nents Cler­mont Au­vergne.

“If you look back to that pe­riod, this prob­a­bly ranks as one of the proud­est turn­arounds,” Sara­cens skip­per Bar­ritt said.

“Our per­for­mances have im­proved and the re­lent­less ap­petite to im­prove as a team and as an in­di­vid­ual has been re­mark­able. It’s been easy for me as a cap­tain be­cause I’ve had six to seven lead­ers across the park, and that col­lec­tive own­er­ship has come through in spades.

“It has driven the team to a new height, and you can see from the performance where this team has gone to.”

Sara­cens’ Twick­en­ham tri­umph pro­duced the big­gest winning mar­gin in a Premier­ship fi­nal since 2013, as wing Chris Wyles’ try dou­ble and touch­downs from Billy Vu­nipola and Nathan Earle saw them home.

Wyles, to­gether with hooker Schalk Brits, made their farewell ap­pear­ances be­fore re­tir­ing from pro­fes­sional rugby, and Bar­ritt said: “It’s sad for us to say goodbye to two ab­so­lute le­gends of the club. We all know as play­ers what Chris and Schalk have given to Sara­cens and the many mem­o­ries they’ve given the club.”

Ex­eter rugby di­rec­tor Rob Bax- ter, is up­beat about his squad’s fu­ture prospects af­ter los­ing a sec­ond Premier­ship fi­nal in three sea­sons – both to Sara­cens.

“If I am re­ally hon­est, the most pleas­ing thing for me mov­ing for­ward is that, on av­er­age, we were the youngest Premier­ship team in the com­pe­ti­tion this year and we’ve got to the fi­nal,” he said.

“We fin­ished top of the league, and from a coach’s per­spec­tive you have got to be mas­sively en­thu­si­as­tic about that.”

CHRIS WYLES: The Sara­cens winger scored two tries in their Premier­ship fi­nal vic­tory.

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