McCall happy with Saracens

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:46
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EUROPEAN CUP SPOTLIGHT: Saracens proved they are in no mood to give up either their Champions Cup or Premiership titles with a 53-10 demolition job of Bath last weekend.

Next up are Glasgow Warriors in Sunday's European quarter-final clash and director of rugby Mark McCall couldn't be happier. He got his international players back, saw Alex Goode return after an 11-week injury break and had seven tries to savour.

"That was us at our best - we took our game to a different level in the last half hour. That's the kind of performance we're after. We're going to need that again this week because we're playing against a really good opponent.

"I think Glasgow were probably the best team in the pool stages of the competition. They had some credible wins, they're well-coached and they've got players who are very confident at the moment. We've just got to keep our feet on the ground.

"If we can have the same sort of preparation we just had, and replicate what we showed in the last half an hour of Sunday's match, we'll be tough to beat," said McCall.

One man who knows exactly how hard it will be to wrestle the trophy from the champions' grip is Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend. Having steered his side to a Pro12 title in 2015, he wants to pick up an even bigger prize in his final season in charge before taking over from Vern Cotter as head coach of Scotland.

"Saracens have become our role model - in the way they've built a winning rugby culture with such consistency. We haven't played Saracens since I've been coach but I've followed them closely.

"They've been very open and three years ago I went down to talk about their stadium because they're in a similar situation with the athletics track and a 3G pitch. They were really helpful and gave us new ideas.

"We've got a good relationship with Mark McCall, and he's always sharing things, but we've been looking closely to find ways we can beat them. We know how good they are because they haven't lost a game in Europe for two years.

"They've got a real clarity about their play and the Vunipola brothers are back and maybe George Kruis too. But we play outstanding teams like Munster and Leinster in the league and in Europe this season we've beaten Racing and Leicester home and away.

"This will be the ultimate challenge but we go there with confidence and could take 6,000 fans," Townsend told The Guardian.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Highlanders 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 06 May 2017
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Wasps v Saracens 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh 22h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Rodney Parade
Zebre v Treviso 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
Munster v Connacht 22h00 Thomond Park
Scarlets v Ospreys 22h00 Parc y Scarlets
Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Kingsholm
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Bristol v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Ashton Gate
Rebels v Lions 05h00 Melbourne
Chiefs v Reds 07h35 New Plymouth
Waratahs v Blues 09h45 Allianz Park
Sharks v Force 13h05 Kings Park, Durban
Bulls v Crusaders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Jaguares v Sunwolves 21h40 Buenos Aires
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 5 0 1 24
Glasgow Warriors 6 4 0 2 19
Leicester Tigers 6 2 0 4 8
Racing Metro 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 1 1 22
Toulouse 6 3 2 1 18
Connacht 6 4 0 2 18
Zebre 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 5 1 0 24
Toulon 6 3 0 3 16
Scarlets 6 2 1 3 11
Sale Sharks 6 1 0 5 4
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 4 1 1 23
Montpellier 6 3 0 3 16
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Northampton Saints 6 2 0 4 9
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 26
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 14
Exeter Chiefs 6 2 0 4 12
Ulster 6 2 0 4 10