Aviva PremiershipWasps (16) 35Tries: Young 3, Wade, Daly Cons: Gopperth 2 Pens: Gopperth 2Saracens (10) 15Tries: Spencer 2 Cons: Lozowksi Pens: Bosch
Wasps sealed top spot with a bonus-point win over Saracens at the Ricoh Arena, which booked a Premiership home semi-final against Leicester.
Sarries scrum-half Ben Spencer was the day’s first try scorer with the first of his two tries for the reigning champions and European Cup holders.
But home flanker Thomas Young – son of Wasps boss Dai – scored the first two of his three tries before the break.
Second-half tries from Christian Wade, Elliot Daly and Young sealed victory.
Sarries’ other points came from a conversion by Wasps old boy Alex Lozowski and an enormous first-half penalty by Argentina centre Marcelo Bosch.
Third-placed Sarries, who must now travel to Exeter in the semis in a fortnight’s time, played a weakened side.
Ahead of their European Champions Cup final against Clermont Auvergne at Murrayfield on 13 May, they were missing their main England quartet of Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and the Vunipola brothers.
Wasps’ four tries not only earned the bonus point which stopped second-placed Exeter sneaking into top spot but took their tally to 88 for the season, surpassing Newcastle’s Premiership record, set back in the 1997-98 season.
The best was Young’s first try, created by a grubber kick to the left corner from Danny Cipriani, and he then got his second when Sarries were a man down after Sean Maitland was yellow carded for needlessly obstructing Wade.
In front of a capacity 32,000 crowd, which caused kick-off to be delayed by 15 minutes, the only sour note for Wasps was the first-half loss of hooker Tommy Taylor with an ankle injury, while prop Jake Cooper-Woolley finished with a foot injury.
But Wasps boss Young, who played for Wales at both rugby codes, was doubly thrilled with son Thomas’s treble and hopes that it will guarantee selection by his country for Wales’ June Tests against Samoa and Tonga.
The big end-of-season dates
Saturday 13 May
European Champions Cup final (Murrayfield)
Saturday 20 May
Saturday 27 May
Premiership final – Twickenham (14:30 BST)
Wasps boss Dai Young:
“Thomas is not a bad player. I think his mother would be pretty pleased. With the Welsh squad picked on Tuesday I hope he gets his opportunity in the summer.
“He played really well in attack and defence. And I don’t know where he gets his pace from. The milkman stopped delivering years ago!
“That win will do us a world of good. Finishing top is a major achievement and we’re happy with that. We were the better team but they could have won. Saracens take some shifting. You have to beat them three or four times.
“We left a few points out there, to be honest. We were a bit edgy and you could see we’re not quite used to the big occasions. But the more you play them the more comfortable you get. I’m sure Leicester will want to upset the party, but we are looking forward
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:
“Wasps definitely deserved to win. Our effort was good but we made a lot of mistakes and they’re not the type of team you want to make handling errors against. We were hanging on for a bit but the effort meant we were always in the fight.
“Whether people do or don’t agree with the team we picked, we felt it was the right thing, We take the Premiership very seriously but we had some choices to make. The Champions Cup is a massive competition, so to be in the final again is brilliant.
“The other Premiership semi-finalists all get to rest their players next weekend. We feel we’ve done the right thing because there were some players who we really felt needed to rest.
“One or two were carrying small injuries who would have played had this been the semi-final, but it would have been a gamble playing them.”
Wasps: Beale; Wade, Daly, Gopperth, Le Roux; Cipriani, Simpson; Mullan, T Taylor, Cooper-Woolley, Launchbury (capt), Symons, Haskell, Young, Hughes.
Replacements: Robson for Simpson (55), McIntyre for Mullan (64), Thompson for Haskell (64), Myall for Symons (69), Bassett for le Roux (72),
Not used: Johnson, Swainston, Leiua.
Saracens: Wyles; Ellery, Bosch, Tompkins, Maitland; Lozowski, Spencer; Lamositle, Brits (capt), Koch, Hamilton, Kruis, Rhodes, Wray, Burger.
Sin bin: Maitland (35)
Replacements: du Plessis for Koch (43), Barrington for Lamositele (51), George for Brits (51), Earle for Ellery (54), Isiekwe for Hamilton (60), H Taylor for Maitland (69).
Not used: Brown, Goode.
Referee: Wayne Barnes.