Nomadic Sarries a 'good side'

Mon, 31 Dec 2012 07:59
Large mark mccall saracens Large ernst joubert saracens Large phildollmansaracenstry

Mark McCall admits his nomadic Saracens side are getting used to life on the road after grinding out a nerve-racking 17-16 Premiership victory over Saints.

Mark McCall admits his nomadic Saracens side are getting used to life on the road after grinding out a nerve-racking 17-16 Premiership victory over Northampton Saints at Stadium:MK.

Playing in their sixth different home of the season, Sarries got off to the perfect start when John Smit drove his way over on seven minutes.

But Saints, smarting from their 18-9 defeat against Harlequins last time out, responded with a Phil Dowson effort and some expert Stephen Myler kicking - the fly-half finishing with 11 points.

England flyhalf Owen Farrell, on as a replacement on 50 minutes, took over kicking duties from Charlie Hodgson and eventually saw the hosts over the line with two penalties - despite Myler hitting the crossbar with a last-gasp, long-range penalty that almost snatched Northampton victory from the jaws of defeat.

But McCall instead celebrated Sarries' sixth win in seven games, and second place in the Premiership going into the New Year.

"It's probably the sign of a good side [not playing well and grinding out a result]," said Sarries' Director of Rugby McCall.

"That's our 16th game [of the season] and we've played three at Vicarage Road, so I'm unbelievably proud of the players, it shows what they're made of, they don't pick and choose what games they get up for, they just bring their boots and get on with the game.

"I thought in the first 25 minutes of the match we were pretty good, we'd built up an 11-0 lead, we were in a good place, but I think we got a little bit excited in the last 15 minutes of the half.

"We put ourselves under a bit of pressure and credit to Northampton for getting back into the game at that point.

"I never felt we were under a huge amount of pressure, however."

The dramatic loss left Saints lingering outside the play-offs and director of rugby Jim Mallinder claims they have to improve their consistency levels.

"It's tough but we've got to get as much consistency as we possibly can. What we'll do is look at our game as well. The referee is one thing, our game is another," said Mallinder.

"I thought the effort from the boys was fantastic. They really, really worked hard there.

"There were a couple of little bits of accuracy, in particular where we had chances to get out of our half, when we went four points up we really had a chance there to clear our lines and we didn't.

"We let them back in the game and that's what we've got to work on.

"I don't think it's anything to do with mentality, it's just being a little bit smart. A lot of credit to Saracens - they don't score many tries but they win games.

"They've got that ability to win games and that's something we still need to work on. If Stephen Myler kicks that goal then we would all be celebrating and it would be a tremendous away victory for us."

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 22 September 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 15h30 Bloemfontein
Cheetahs v Leinster 18h00 Bloemfontein
Glasgow Warriors v Munster 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Ulster v Dragons 18h35 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Kingsholm
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Sat, 23 September 2017
Sharks v Blue Bulls 13h00 Durban
Bath v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Recreation Ground
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Saracens v Sale Sharks 14h00 Allianz Park
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 14h15 Sportsground
Western Province v Griquas 15h15 Newlands
Kings v Zebre 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 24 September 2017
London Irish v Northampton Saints 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 14h00 Sandy Park
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 3 2 0 1 11
Wasps 3 2 0 1 10
Saracens 3 2 0 1 9
Newcastle Falcons 3 2 0 1 9
Harlequins 3 2 0 1 9
Northampton Saints 3 2 0 1 9
Bath 3 2 0 1 8
Sale Sharks 3 1 0 2 7
Leicester Tigers 3 1 0 2 5
Gloucester 3 1 0 2 5
London Irish 3 1 0 2 5
Worcester Warriors 3 0 0 3 0