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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 May, 2003, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Hill scare as Sarries reach final
Leeds 27-13 Saracens (aggregate 48-70)

Saracens flanker Richard Hill
Hill was in the wars again
Flanker Richard Hill gave Clive Woodward an injury scare ahead of England's Southern Hemisphere tour as Saracens qualified for the Zurich Wildcard final.

Hill was helped off with 15 minutes remaining, after landing painfully on his ankle just two weeks before England leave for summer Tests Down Under.

He will undergo a scan on Monday, with Sarries coach Wayne Shelford hoping the flanker will recover in time for the final against Leicester at Franklin's Gardens on 31 May.

We don't know how bad it is
Wayne Shelford
"Richard is very, very sore," Shelford said. "He's hurt the same ankle which he damaged while playing for England, although it's a slightly different injury."

Hill's departure precipitated a late Leeds flurry as the Tykes added two more tries to complete a comfortable victory.

But the home side never threatened to overcome their 36-point deficit from the first leg, as Saracens reached the interval only 8-3 down.

They took the lead with a first-minute penalty from Andy Goode, quickly cancelled out by one from Gordon Ross.

Leeds 27 (8)
Tries: Scarbrough, C Murphy, Popham, Mather
Cons: Ross 2
Pens: Ross
Saracens 13 (3)
Try: Cairns
Con: Goode
Pens: Goode 2
But Leeds were unable to convert their territorial dominance until full-back Dan Scarbrough celebrated his return by touching down a Ross chip-through two minutes before half-time.

Any thoughts of a second-half onslaught quickly evaporated though as Saracens wing Richard Haughton chased a kick and fed hooker Matt Cairns for a simple try.

Goode converted for a 10-8 lead, whereupon Saracens took their foot off the pedal, their final mission all but accomplished.

The Tykes raised their game in turn and fashioned the first of three second-half tries for departing lock Chris Murphy after 56 minutes.

Dan Scarbrough is collared by two Saracens players
Scarbrough scored on his return
The Pau-bound second row finished powerfully in the left corner after George Harder's midfield break. Ross converted for a 15-10 lead.

After Thomas Castaignede came off the bench to replace Tim Horan and Saracens lost Hill to injury, Leeds wrapped up victory with two more scores in quick succession.

Welsh flanker Alix Popham was driven over by his pack with 13 minutes left before another departing forward, Cameron Mather, capped another forceful show with a farewell try.

To finish our season on a winning note is a fitting way to sign off
Leeds coach Phil Davies
Ross added the extras from the touchline, but Goode's late penalty gave Saracens a comfortable 22-point winning margin over the two legs.

But Leeds could still join the Wildcard winners in the Heineken Cup.

If Wasps beat Bath in the Parker Pen Challenge Cup final next Sunday, the Tykes will qualify courtesy of their fifth place finish in the league.

Leeds: Scarbrough; Hall, Harder, Davies, Emmerson; Ross, Hegarty; Kerr, Shelley, Regan, Kerr, C Murphy, P Murphy, Mather, Ponton, Popham.
Replacements: Holt, Rawlinson, Wring, Hogg, Fea'unati, Dickens, Rock.

Saracens: Horan, Haughton, Johnston, Sorrell (capt), O'Mahony, Goode, Williams; Califano, Cairns, Storey, Yandell, Chesney, Roques, Hill, Skirving.
Replacements: Marsters, Ross, B Russell, Peacey, Kirton, Shanklin, Castaignede.

Referee: Tony Spreadbury (RFU)

BBC Sport's Ed Marriage
"This game was won and lost in the first leg"

Saracens thump Leeds
14 May 03  |  English

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