‘No one wants us to win and we don’t care’: Jackson Wray outlines delight after Saracens defy the haters to lift their first Premiership title in four years… as the retiring forward hails team-mates for sticking together after relegation for salary cap breaches
- Saracens won their first Premiership title in four years by defeating Sale 35-25
- They banished the pain of last year’s defeat in the final with a thrilling victory
- Retiring forward Jackson Wray hailed his team-mates after their superb triumph
After protesters tried to paint them orange at Twickenham, the Premiership final squads went off to paint two towns red yesterday.
The trophy spent Saturday night in bed with England hooker Jamie George, and was destined to be carried round the capital by the title-winners during their fancy-dress party — while Sale drowned their sorrows in Marbella.
It was a thunderous decider, but Saracens deservedly emerged victors of a turbulent campaign, which saw them finish top of the shrinking league by five points.
Once two pitch invaders had been dragged away, under a torrent of beer and abuse, this was a competitive contest and Sale pushed the favourites all the way. Second-half tries by Tom Roebuck and Bevan Rodd propelled Alex Sanderson’s side into the lead, which they held until 13 minutes from the end, before Saracens struck twice to avoid a repeat of last year’s agonising demise.
The champions were driven to make amends for their dramatic defeat by Leicester 12 months ago — and also to cap the revival project, following their relegation at the end of the 2019-20 season for salary-cap offences revealed by Mail Sport. With a winner’s medal to show for his final appearance before retirement, forward Jackson Wray recalled a vow made in the darkest days, saying: ‘I remember, we sat down and said, “We are going to get back to the top. We don’t know when, but we will get there”.
Saracens clinched their first Premiership title in four years with a thrilling 35-25 win over Sale
Retiring forward Jackson Wray heaped praise on his team-mates for their superb triumph
‘That hit me as soon as the whistle went today. I thought about what a journey it’s been to get here. What a ride.
‘I don’t think people talk about this enough. It was the biggest fine in sporting history (£5.36million in 2019 for salary-cap breaches) — in a game where you lose money every year. The owners said, “We made a mistake and we will stay and put it right”. Together, we have done it.
‘We have done our bit as players — stayed, fought and gone against everyone. Even today. Everyone was with Sale. Every club in the land was with Sale.
‘Do you know what? That’s how we like it. No one wants us to win and we don’t care. We want to do well for each other and for the club, because this club has given us everything.’
Man of the match Owen Farrell was immense. ‘He is an unbelievable player and leader,’ said Wray. ‘He understands the game better than any of us. There is a reason he has been one of the best players in the world for a long, long time. There is never any doubt in my mind he is England’s No 10.
‘He screams at you to get off the line, so you get off the line. He screams at you to get off the floor, so you get off the floor. He is a driver of everything.’
Elliot Daly came off the bench to score the crucial, penultimate try to re-establish Sarries’ lead. After his side had held on for glory he was asked if this could be the start of another dynasty. ‘Well, we hope so,’ he said.
He insisted Saracens are driven on by being a side that are hated by their opponents
Wray also hailed Owen Farrell, claiming he showed why he is one of the world’s best players
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