Sarries want 'home comforts'

Sat, 22 Dec 2012 18:59
Large bath v saracens Large charlie hodgson saracens2

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall admits his team are looking forward to home comforts.

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall admits his team are looking forward to home comforts despite racking up the points in a comfortable win over Bath at the Rec.

In their seventh away game in 11 Premiership matches, Saracens had Charlie Hodgson to thank as the former England flyhalf slotted 17 points as well as setting up Richard Wigglesworth for the game's only try in a 22-0 success.

And with just four away games left this season, and well ensconced in the Premiership play-off places, McCall insists his team is well-placed.

He said: "Charlie [Hodgson] was outstanding but the team were outstanding as well. It was clinical and professional; the foundations of the game were brilliant. The energy of the team and the energy they gave each other, so it was an outstanding performance in very tricky conditions.

"We got it into the right areas and dominated field position and the players want to play when you're down there. We took our try brilliantly, Charlie made that little half-break, Stretts [David Strettle] got on his shoulder and a 16-0 lead was a huge lead in conditions like that. I thought all parts of our game were good.

"It was a great performance and to back up from Munster with a six-day turnaround, it says a lot about the group.

"That was our seventh away game out of 11 games so far, so we have a lot of home games to look forward to. We've only got four away games left in the last 11 games so given the travels we have been on and the disruptions with people being away with England, I think we are in a pretty good place as a club and the players can be very proud of themselves."

Where Saracens were clinical in sodden conditions, Bath struggled, starting with a misfiring line-out.

And Gary Gold pulled no punches as his team failed to pick up a losing bonus point in defeat for the first time this season.

He said: "The question is where didn't we fall short. Saracens were as good in every aspect of their game as we were poor. The line-out didn't function, our kicking game didn't function and a couple of defensive lapses we usually pride ourselves on.

"The small solace we can take is that we only conceded one try but Sarries are very good at what they do. They are three or four years down the line at playing these sorts of conditions and we certainly need to get a lot better at it. We were poor and it's an embarrassing result.

"I wasn't surprised because we thought they would play [a kicking game], that's how they play. They call it suffocate and strangle, and they do it very well. They deserve credit for how well they did it and the accuracy of their kicks was very good.

"They are going to put you under a lot of pressure and it's a bit of a game of chess and we lost substantially."

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Team P W D L Pts
Northampton Saints 22 16 1 5 76
Bath 22 16 0 6 75
Leicester Tigers 22 15 1 6 68
Saracens 22 14 1 7 68
Exeter Chiefs 22 14 0 8 68
Wasps 22 11 2 9 61
Sale Sharks 22 11 0 11 54
Harlequins 22 10 0 12 49
Gloucester 22 9 1 12 48
London Irish 22 7 1 14 40
Newcastle Falcons 22 5 1 16 34
London Welsh 22 0 0 22 1