VIDEO: McCall reacts to Sarries' losing streak

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 12:19

POST-MATCH REACTION: Saracens may be on an unprecedented losing streak, but Director of Rugby Mark McCall is backing them to successfully defend their title.

Saracens, who were hammered by 32 points by Clermont in a weather-delayed game in France last Monday, saw their recent poor form continue with an agonising 21-24 loss in the second repeat of last year's European Final in less than a week.

The reigning European champions have now lost seven matches in a row in all competitions.

Smarting Saracens raced to a 13-0 lead with a try by Ben Spencer and a conversion and two penalties from Owen Farrell.

Morgan Parra responded with six straight penalties to put the home team five points ahead, but Farrell replied with three points of his own and Alex Lozowski scored an unconverted try to put Sarries back in front.

But in a chaotic and error-filled final 15 minutes, Parra and Scott Spedding each kicked a penalty to secure the victory which lifted the French club five points clear at the head of Pool Two and dropped Saracens to third.

McCall has said that his players were backing themselves to bounce back in the two remaining rounds to get into the play-offs.

They play Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium in mid-January and host winless Northampton Saints at Allianz Park a week later.

The Saracens Director of Rugby said that he is optimistic heading into the rest of the season and is confident the tide will turn.

"Everyone's saying that it felt good and felt better out there [against Clermont], but there's more to come," he said.

"Of course we can improve and have to if we want to win games like that; there's improvement in us for definite.

"We all know that we're going to get through this patch, whether it's next week in Leicester or the week after at Allianz Park against Worcester.

"We've got a good chance in the last two games to get ourselves into a qualifying position for the knockout phases of the Champions Cup, which is what we want.

"We want to get into the top four in the Premiership and have a chance of doing that as well, we'll get through this little period."

McCall praised his players' response to a tricky run of results, saying: "Just given where we were on Monday evening into Tuesday morning after the defeat and the manner of it at home and having to come here which is a pretty difficult place to come along.

"We also had added injuries to the existing list after Brad [Barritt] and Richard Wigglesworth were ruled out.

"We were written off by lots of people and to come and play the way we played, we attacked the game, competed for absolutely everything and fought for everything.

"We also played good rugby as well as defending much, much better so it just felt like we were much more like ourselves.


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Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 4 1 1 21
Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4