Sarries not getting carried away

Mon, 17 Dec 2012 11:03
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Saracens have gone top of their European Cup pool, but captain Steve Borthwick insists they will stay firmly grounded in the New Year.

Saracens have gone top of their European Cup pool, but captain Steve Borthwick insists they will stay firmly grounded when action resumes in the New Year.

Their 19-13 victory over former double champions Munster at Vicarage Road gave Saracens a two-points advantage over the Irish club - but it is French big-spenders Racing Metro who could hold the key in the battle for group honours and automatic quarterfinal qualification.

Racing Metro are still right in the mix themselves, just three points behind Saracens, and Borthwick's team have to travel to the French capital in Round Five while Munster host them at Thomond Park on the final weekend of Pool action.

"We are not a team that gets carried away," said the former England lock.

"It was certainly a hard fought game and I thought that as a team we did the little things very, very well.

"Having some more time to prepare with our international players - who had been away for a long time in the last five weeks - also made a big difference."

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall added: "Hopefully this was a bit of a coming of age for us but after four games you want to control your destiny. We have to go to Racing Metro and potentially there are more twists and turns to come in this group.

"We certainly improved from last week. Our line-out had a 100% success rate and we got on top in the scrum in the last 20 minutes."

Meanwhile Munster head coach Rob Penney remained upbeat, declaring: "We still have 10 points to play for and who knows what will happen. I am very optimistic that this group of players can turn this around as they are hugely talented."

As well as Racing Metro being a common denominator for Saracens and Munster, so are Edinburgh for whom the whole European campaign has been a nightmare.

They have failed to score a try in 320 minutes of tournament action, while conceding 11, and are on the wrong end of a 100 points difference from their four fixtures.
 

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EUROPEAN CUP
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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 6 0 0 28
Ulster 6 4 0 2 18
Oyonnax 6 1 0 5 7
Toulouse 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 16
Ospreys 6 3 0 3 16
Clermont Auvergne 6 3 0 3 15
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 4 1 1 22
Northampton Saints 6 4 1 1 19
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 14
Scarlets 6 0 0 6 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 6 5 0 1 23
Stade Francais 6 4 0 2 19
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Treviso 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 0 2 20
Toulon 6 5 0 1 20
Bath 6 2 0 4 10
Leinster 6 1 0 5 6
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