Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall was pleased with his sides response after what the 46-year-old Northern Irishman admitted was a “lethargic” start.
Exeter quickly established a 0-7 lead after Ian Whitten scored for the visitors on nine minutes, but McCall praised his sides comeback after they ran out 23-10 winners.
“I can’t put my finger on the start as it wasn’t like us” admitted McCall.
“They won a number of the collisions today. We were lethargic, we had the strong wind with us and Exeter really dominated during that period.
“The second twenty minutes in the first half we made a couple of errors we don’t usually make, but the control of the team in the second half against a very good Exeter side was really pleasing.
“I thought we really played well. The set-piece was the difference between the two sides; our scrum was outstanding, so was our maul, and we won the game comfortably in the end which didn’t look likely at half time”.
On Saracens set-piece dominance McCall praised his two starting props Richard Barrington and James Johnston, with the latter scoring his first Saracens Premiership try in an impressive 78 minute performance.
“James Johnston played a really important role today. His scrummaging was outstanding.
“As was Richard Barrington’s – this time last year he was playing for Jersey in the Championship. It has been brilliant for him in terms of the progress he’s made since being at Saracens.
“Overall, I though our scrum was outstanding today” he added.