Saracens Director rugby Mark McCall was philosophical in the aftermath of Saracens Heineken Cup semi-final defeat to Toulon, as he praised his side’s “growth and progress” over the last 14 months – promising that his side will get over this defeat before they enter the later stages of the domestic season.
“We did a lot of good things today,” said McCall after the game.
“The most important thing as a club we talk about is growth and progress. When I look back 14 months at what happened in the Clermont quarter final, when were we were second best by miles in the game; it wasn’t that way at all today.
“I felt we went toe to toe with Toulon; we were every bit as good as they were in a game that could have been won by either side. So if we are looking for signs of growth and progress, it’s plain to see we are improving.”
Jonny Wilkinson kicked all of the Toulon points in the 24-12 win, although McCall believes the final score may have flattered the French side.
“The game was a tight affair and the scoreline doesn’t necessarily reflect or say that.
“When it was a three point game, or at times a six point game, we had a couple of opportunities deep in their 22. We couldn’t take those opportunities, or sustain enough pressure and the game just got away from us in the end.
“But for 65 minutes there was nothing in it.”
Saracens are still in the hunt for honours this year, and McCall believes that they came get over the disappointment to maintain their challenge to win the Aviva Premiership.
“We mentioned in the changing room that the season not over yet.
“We’ve got an awful lot to play for; we’ve got a very important game against Bath next week, and we have a guaranteed home semi final to come up.
“So we’ll get over this result in the next few days, and we hope to end what has been a very good season so far on a positive note.”