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Saracens beat Edinburgh 40-7 in last game at Vicarage Road to qualify for Heineken Cup quarter-finals
The Men in Black brushed aside a hapless Edinburgh 40-7 on a snow-dusted pitch in Watford to finish top of Pool One and ensure qualification for the Heineken Cup knockout stages for just the third time in the club's history.
Sarries will face Ulster in the quarter-finals and five tries - two for Chris Ashton and one each for Matt Stevens, Charlie Hodgson and Chris Wyles - mean Mark McCall's side took home a bonus-point win to raise the possibilty of home advantage depending on the result of Toulouse's match against Leicester later.
Whatever the location of that match, Saracens will take further confidence from this display.
Like much of their Pool campaign, the Men in Black were clinical, cool under pressure - certainly not without fault - but crucially brilliant at dictating the flow of a rugby match.
McCall made just three changes to the side that defeated Racing Metro as Mako Vunipola, George Kruis and fly half Hodgson all came into the starting line-up with the in-form Owen Farrell shifting to outside centre.
After an astonishing display against Metro that saw him notch 11 out of 11 kicks from the tee, Farrell continued as he left off, effortlessly dispatching three efforts within the first 20 minutes to put Sarries 9-0 ahead.
Sarries were superior all over the pitch and in the 26th minute they were rewarded for their dominance as Brad Barritt's neat kick through saw Ashton carefully collect and put down for the first try of the match.
Farrell stepped up to convert his 15th kick in successive matches but the home crowd were surprised to see the ball clip the outside of the right post and come out.
Like an orchestra knocked off beat, Saracens temporarily lost their rhythm and three minutes later they gifted Edinburgh a lifeline as Richard Wigglesworth failed to deal with a cleared kick, allowing Greig Tonks the opportunity to hack the ball through and make it 14-5.
As Greig Laidlaw converted, the visitors grew in confidence before the break and it was arguably Sarries who were the happier to hear the sound of the half-time whistle.
After 14 consecutive kicks, Farrell made it two misses in a row minutes after the restart but the England number ten soon made amends when another penalty was awarded three minutes later.
Shaping up to kick for the posts, Farrell tapped the ball before instinctively launching a cross-field kick into the path of an expectant Ashton who, catching the Edinburgh defence napping, collected and ran over for Sarries' second try.
Farrell seemed to have lost his mojo from the tee as he missed the conversion, but Saracens' control had been reasserted and in the 52nd minute they took the game beyond the visitors as a driving maul saw Stevens put down for a third score.
With a fourth try, a bonus point and that possible home quarter-final in their sights, the match was still very much alive and Sarries kept their foot on the accelerator.
With ten minutes to play they thought they had it, as Hodgson's kick through looked to have been put down by Barritt but TMO penalised the inside centre for a double movement.
Five minutes later though, an expectant Vicarage Road crowd were handed the parting gift they were looking for.
Patient build-up saw the ever-impressive Hodgson sell a delightful dummy pass before cruising through for the all-important fourth try which Farrell converted, and with the bonus-point sewn up, there was still time for one more party-piece as Wyles touched down for try number five.
With the last kick of the game Farrell struck home, firing a jubilant Saracens into the competition's quarter-finals.
As long as Toulouse don't beat Leicester with a bonus-point later today, the Men in Black will play Ulster at home - albeit at a location still to be decided by Sarries CEO Edward Griffiths.
Could that include Vicarage Road? "All options are being discussed," he said.
Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles 14 Chris Ashton 13 Owen Farrell 12 Brad Barritt 11 David Strettle 10 Charlie Hodgson 9 Richard Wigglesworth 1 Mako Vunipola 2 Schalk Brits 3 Matt Stevens 4 Steve Borthwick (capt) 5 George Kruis 6 Kelly Brown 7 Will Fraser 8 Ernst Joubert
Replacements: 16 John Smit 17 Rhys Gill 18 Petrus du Plessis 19 Mouritz Botha 20 Nick Fenton-Wells 21 Neil de Kock 22 Joel Tomkins 23 Duncan Taylor
Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks 14 Dougie Fife 13 Ben Cairns 12 Matt Scott 11 Tim Visser 10 Greig Laidlaw (capt) 9 Richie Rees 1 Robin Hislop 2 Steven Lawrie 3 Willem Nel 4 Grant Gilchrist 5 Sean Cox 6 Stuart McInally 7 Dimitri Basilaia 8 Netani Talei
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell 17 Alex Allan 18 Geoff Cross 19 David Denton 20 Roddy Grant 21 Piers Francis 22 Ben Atiga 23 Lee Jones
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