MATCH REACTION | Alex Austerberry (AP15S – RD 8)
Director of Rugby Alex Austerberry was left smiling after “a good step forward” from his side, as they responded to last weekend’s defeat to Exeter in barnstorming fashion.
Saracens scored scored ten tries in all, as they showcased their attacking prowess throughout, leaving Austerberry smiling at full-time,
“I’m really pleased with some of the elements of it. Some of our attacking play was really good and we took a lot of opportunities. We spoke at half time about bringing the energy and being there in support. We saw some really intelligent ways to break down defences and at times it was brilliant.”
Despite seeing his side showcase their attacking intent, Austerberry was left “a little disappointed” by some of the tries his side conceded, as Worcester left StoneX Stadium with a deserved try bonus point.
“The tries were a little soft and came at times. We invited pressure with an error and then didn’t clear our lines. We need to learn that we can’t back up those errors with more errors as that really swings momentum. The game was tight in parts, and we want to keep that momentum. You work hard for it and if you give it away too easily, it can be difficult to get that back.”
Focusing back on the ability of his side in attack, Austerberry was quick to pay tribute to the work of his coaching staff in helping his backline rediscover their attacking fluidity.
“It’s about making sure that you have dominant platforms, which the forwards give you and then what the backs can do with that. Lewis Sones and James Tirrell have been doing a lot of work on how we can create different opportunities and execute them. I think the variety of the scores is pleasing.”
On an afternoon where several players put in fine individual performances, it was Scottish second row Louise McMillan who again claimed the plaudits. This was another superb individual performance from the Scotland international and, whilst Austerberry praised what she did on the field, he admitted that he was excited for where she can take her game next.
“We’re really happy with how Louise is going. We knew she had quality when we bought her into the group, but the exciting thing is where she can get to. She’s come in, been incredibly industrious and got up to speed quickly on things. It’s really good to see her hard work paying off but more importantly for me, it’s where she can go next and where that can take the team. I want her to keep on improving and maximising her performance.”
After defeat on the road to Exeter last weekend, Austerberry felt that “it was a good bounce back performance from his side. However, the Director of Rugby also challenged his team to keep improving heading into next weekend’s fixture against Bristol.
“We made it hard for ourselves at times by not understanding the options that were available, so that’s what we need to look at next.”