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Re: Saracens On This Day
Posted by: Haslam
Date: 07/09/2017 09:23
Saracens On This Day – 7th September
7th September 1997 – Narbonne 16 Saracens 18

Saracens played their first competitive European game 20 years ago today! We had missed the first European Challenge Cup in 1996-97 after a late decision to expand the league to 12 teams. As such the promoted clubs (Northampton Saints and London Irish) took the European slots and Saracens were left without.

But a year later we were included, and were drawn in a group with Narbonne, Neath and the prior year’s runner-up: Castres.

The first game was down on the French Mediterranean coast, and was low-scoring with fly half Andy Lee kicking all our points. But it was a good to get an away win against a side who had made the semi-finals the year before. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be enough, Saracens eventually coming second in their pool on points difference after losing away to Castres. And there was no tournament for us the year after as English sides withdrew along with Cardiff and Swansea.

Twenty years later the teams have separated by a little more than two points, with Narbonne currently bottom of the Pro D2, while Saracens sit on top of the Premiership table. But Narbonne did have some successes on the way – beating Quins to the Challenge Cup in 2001. actually runners-up to Quins in 2001

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