McCall left to rue Slade's stunning kick – Times Series

Saracens boss Mark McCall was left to rue "one of many nice kicks of all time" as his crew's bid for a European and home trophy double ended at Sandy Park.

Exeter substitute Henry Slade's pin-level 60-metre touchfinder a minute from time arrange Exeter's successful rating in a pulsating Aviva Premiership play-off conflict that ended with the Chiefs heading to Twickenham subsequent Saturday.

Exeter drove the ensuing lineout, and Chiefs' alternative again-row ahead Sam Simmonds touched down to declare an 18-16 win.

Seven days after lifting the European Champions Cup by beating Clermont Auvergne, Saracens regarded to have once more dug deep as alternative wing Mike Ellery's 76th-minute landing appeared to ground the Chiefs.

However Devon's best, unbeaten within the Premiership since October, clawed out a gripping victory following an earlier Jack Nowell attempt to eight factors from skipper Gareth Steenson.

"We had the sport with two minutes left, however then got here one of many nice kicks of all time from Henry Slade," Saracens rugby director McCall stated.

"He places that kick anyplace else, and I'd be sitting right here speaking about one of many nice wins and fights from a crew who have been a bit drained.

"In fact we're unhappy, and it's painful, however we may be unbelievably happy with that second-half efficiency.

"Nicely accomplished to Exeter. We want all of them one of the best for subsequent weekend. For them to attain the ultimate in successive seasons is great.

"They have been excellent within the second 20 minutes of the primary half. It felt like we have been hanging on, and we regarded drained, however what I'm most proud about is what occurred within the second half.

"We conceded (a strive) early, and quite a lot of groups then simply fall away, however we stored on preventing, scrapping and discovering a manner to keep within the contest. We confirmed all our expertise.

"We did not do a lot mistaken, and we are able to maintain our heads up excessive when it comes to the season we have had."

Saracens, conquerors of Exeter in final season's Premiership Twickenham showpiece, had hoped to emulate Leicester 15 years in the past by retaining European and home titles, however the Chiefs had different concepts.

Wing Chris Wyles scored a 57th-minute strive, with captain Owen Farrell kicking two penalties for Saracens, but Exeter had simply sufficient within the tank to maintain alive hopes of being topped English champions for the primary time of their 146-year historical past.

Reflecting on the win, Exeter captain Steenson stated: "It was terrific. We stated for Henry to go for it with the kick. It had to be inside a sure vary to give us an opportunity, and honest play to him, it was a heck of a shot.

"He had to step up and hit it, and he confirmed a bit of sophistication there, confirmed a little bit of bottle and put us in an excellent place. It is up there when it comes to nice kicks.

"Saracens threw the whole lot at us, which we knew they'd. We had to get ourselves in the appropriate a part of the pitch to put a little bit of strain on. We received the chance, then Henry knocked the kick and the remainder is historical past."

Exeter misplaced 28-20 in opposition to Saracens in final 12 months's Premiership closing, however Steenson added: "We're in a a lot totally different place in contrast to final 12 months. We've got talked very a lot about being champions this 12 months.

"Perhaps final 12 months, we have been simply comfortable to be within the closing. Lots of people say you've got to undergo finals and lose them to put your self in an excellent place.

"We have had some unbelievable days right here, and with 4 minutes to go, it nonetheless felt prefer it was do-ready. We have been very calm.

"This squad has moved on, and we're very a lot driving ourselves to go and win the factor. There isn't any level in being in a closing and never successful it.

"We'll prepare to go laborious subsequent week."

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