Austerberry hails mentality after Loughborough triumph
Head Coach Alex Austerberry said the comeback victory over Loughborough Lightning on Saturday was a credit to the mentality in the group.
After the opening round defeat to Worcester in the Allianz Cup Sarries knew that they needed a victory to keep alive their hopes of progressing, and that’s exactly what they got as they overturned a 12-0 half time deficit to win 22-12.
“There were positives to the first half, we defended pretty well but it was tough with that wind and to be 12-0 down at half time it’s a long way back, especially for a young and inexperienced side.” Said Austerberry.
He continued: “At half time our experienced bodies spoke really well about what it means to be part of this group and everyone stood up in the second half. We got back in to the game and we’re really proud of that win, it’s testament to the character in our squad.”
With so many internationals away it was always going to be a testing time for Sarries, but Austerberry is delighted with what he has seen so far.
“Game time is essential to their growth. Training is good but nothing beats a game, that’s when you find out a lot about players. I thought Jodie backed up a good performance last week, Lucy, Cara and Coreen all stepped up as did the rest of the group, and the great thing now is all players are driving standards and knocking on the door of the league group.”
The Women in Black are back at StoneX this Sunday when they welcome Sale for the next round of the cup, and the Head Coach will now head in to the week with a spring in his step.
“We’ve had to learn quickly, it’s effectively knockout rugby and we got some harsh lessons against Worcester but fixed it today so we’re in a better place for next week and very excited for it.”
His final praises were left for the try-scoring Rocky Clark, who showed all of her experience to help the side overturn the 12-point deficit.
“She was superb, her carries and tackles but it doesn’t surprise me. She knows where the try-line is and you can’t measure what she brings to the group.”