No silver lining for Dan Carter

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    15 May 2016     Getty Images

Carter succumbed to the leg injury suffered in the semi-final and limped out of the game two minutes into the second half. He hadn't attempted a goal kick during that time.

Assistant coach Ronan O'Gara said Carter had been touch and go to play after he suffered a setback during the week leading up to the game with his calf muscle. They had played Carter, even at only 60 percent because of the presence he brought to the game.

O'Gara said most coaches would have had a player like Carter, who was in a league of his own, on the field when below par because of the way he made opposing sides watch him.

Rain throughout the game troubled the play of both sides and Carter's ability to influence play was hampered when losing key halfback Maxime Machenaud to concussion during the first half.

It was reward for the Saracens side, who got home on seven penalty goals landed by England first five-eighths Owen Farrell, who two years ago lost the final to Toulon. Centre Johannes Goosen landed three penalty goals for Racing, including a massive 55m effort to open his side's scoring.

O'Gara said the better team had won, Farrell had been exemplary with his goal-kicking in not missing.

"They were better in a lot of domains, they really squeezed us, the put the pressure on us. The game we were trying to play we didn't need the rain and the greasy ball because we fancy the off-load game we were trying to play," he said.

"We don't have any complaints. We'll come again."

It had been Saracens third final and Racing's first so there development was a little ahead of Racing's, O'Gara said.

Carter told L'Equipe that he knew he wasn't 100 percent but it was a final and worth taking the risk. Early in the first half he felt his calf stiffen. He doesn't think he will be out for more than two weeks.

It was frustrating to lose he said, and he felt Racing could always come back but Farrell had done well to shut them out, he said.

Another former All Black Joe Rokocoko said: "We lost a final, but this week has been beneficial for us. We worked hard and we know now that we must still add more.

"The European Cup is like a Test match. We will use it to grow, as Saracens did. I think we can calmly review what happened, without emotion, and use it in the Top 14," he said.