Discipline and accuracy wins you games – Gray
Saracens suffered their first defeat at Allianz Park in 24 matches on Saturday and it was down to the team’s discipline, according to Joe Gray.
The Men in Black were defeated 36-17 by Sale Sharks in the Premiership Rugby Cup and conceded too many penalties for the hooker’s liking.
“There were too many opportunities where we needed to be clinical and we left too many points out there.”
Adam Powell’s side carved the visitors open on a number of occasions, scoring twice from Alex Lozowski breaks, but Gray feels if Sarries were more clinical then they may have tasted victory.
He said: “We started well; in the first 15 to 20 minutes in the first half we were all over them, put some good plays together, had some opportunities and five metres out they got a yellow.
“After that period we started to give too many penalties away and gave them a foothold in the game which took away our momentum we had created in the first 20 and they started to come back into the game.”
Gray added: “There were some great bits of play where we did get on the front foot and we did get into their 22 but there were too many opportunities where we needed to be clinical and we left too many points out there.
“To be fair to them, Sale didn’t have too many opportunities but had a lot of penalties to get into our half, into our 22 and they finished their opportunities when they got them and that was the difference.”
For the second match running, a host of youngster appeared in a Sarries shirt and Gray says the match would serve as a learning curve for them.
“You can only get better from those experiences. It’s very frustrating to be in games where things don’t seem to go your way but for the youngsters out there they will learn discipline and accuracy is what wins you games.
“If we’re giving that many penalties away it’s very hard to come away with wins and if we’re not finishing the opportunities we’ve got, again it’s difficult. Two massive points to learn and things to take into next week against Northampton.”