Ivan van Zyl hailed a fast start in Saracens’ Gallagher Premiership semi-final triumph over Northampton Saints at StoneX Stadium.  

The scrum-half was named Player of the Match and scored one of five tries as Saracens eased to a 38-15 win, thus booking their place in the final and securing an unbeaten league record on their own patch. 

Sean Maitland scored a first-half double, while a penalty try and a Max Malins finish late on secured the win. 

Saints hit back with two second-half tries to briefly close the gap to 24-15 when Alex Mitchell and James Ramm went over, but there was to be no comeback after Saracens’ fast start. 

“I have to give huge credit to the boys, they were fantastic today, especially the way we defended in the first half keeping such a brilliant attacking team scoreless,” said Van Zyl. 

“Obviously going a season unbeaten at home is brilliant and the way these fans are supporting us has been unbelievable, hopefully they will all be at Twickenham in a couple of weeks’ time as well. 

“It was important for us to get a good start, obviously last time we played them we gave them a big lead and they are a team that are really good when they gain confidence throughout a game. 

“We needed to make sure we got off to a really good start and thankfully we did that.” 

Last time the two sides clashed at StoneX Stadium was in Round 10 of the regular season, when Saracens came back from 39-17 down midway through the second half to win 45-39. 

But they learnt from their mistakes and even when threatened by two Saints scores at the start of the second half, heads did not drop and now all eyes are on the final. 

“I think the big thing about this is the leadership group, guys like Faz (Owen Farrell) and Mak (Mako Vunipola). 

“All of these boys who have been there, making sure that we keep on doing the small stuff well and going back to the basics. 

“I thought that second half was brilliant and we pulled away the way we needed to. 

“I think the mentality is different this year, we want to be the best we can be and really challenge ourselves.  

“This season, we are really focused on what we need to do and we want to give the best account of ourselves and really fire a shot and that is what we are going to do when the final comes around.”