I went to my first home Saracens match last weekend and what a match it was! An Anglo-Welsh clash between the London club and the Leicester tigers which saw Saracens storm to the Semi-finals with a 29-20 win. Strangely though they are against Leicester Tigers for the Semi-final as well, but the explanation for that will come later.
It was a dream come true for me to be at Allianz Park, both places that I live (Southampton for Uni and Bath for home) are both miles away from the Saracens home ground and it’s quite tricky to get to so I didn’t think I’d ever go. However, my boyfriend bought me tickets for Christmas and arranged all the travel, so off we went. The difference from being at your team’s home ground to when you see them play away from home is astounding. The atmosphere is incredible due to all of the home supporters and Allianz Park has a big capacity so the noise was electric. As you can see from the photo our seats were very close to the pitch and we were sat behind the Leicester sub bench which was interesting to see their prep when they knew they were going to be subbed on. The highlight of the game for me was the last 5 minutes, we were winning 22-20 but the Tigers were looking stronger as the game went on so we needed to score to secure the win. Saracens forced the Tigers to give away a penalty when we were on the attack which resulted in Tom Croft being yellow carded. Saracens persisted in attack and eventually Tom Whitely scored in the last minutes of the game and Allianz exploded with noise, it was amazing.
Another great thing about going to Allianz Park, whether you are a home or away fan, is that after the match you can go and play on the pitch itself. Due to the pitch being an Astroturf surface the crowd won’t ruin it and so you are allowed to play and walk over it after the pitch. I loved this as you could see the stadium as the players do, it definitely felt like home.
The reason as to why Sarries and Leicester are facing each other again in the semi finals is because they both finished top of their pools in the Anglo-Welsh cup, however, with Saracens beating them on Sunday, Saracens get a home semi final. With this semi final, the Six Nations will still be in action and so the majority of our usual first team will be out on international duty. However, this was the case for the game last Sunday and the team produced a stellar performance. With this in mind we are sure to have another edge of your seat game on our way on March 11th!
Stand up for Saracens!