Apr 26, 2015
McCall on Northampton defeat
Mark McCall bemoaned his side’s lack of discipline in their 25-20 win away to Northampton Saints.
The Saracens director of rugby was frustrated with his team’s high penalty count in a topsy-turvy contest at Stadium MK.
Speaking after the game, McCall said: “We’re frustrated with our own team to be honest. You can’t expect win games of that nature when you give away the amount of penalties we gave away, it’s also the nature of the penalties that we gave away. I think we gave away seven penalties for offside, and four of them were in the first 25 minutes. That allowed Stephen Myler to keep the scoreboard ticking over and we’re disappointed with that.
“In the last 20 minutes of the match we didn’t do the right things at the right time often enough. I think we lost a bit of composure in the last 20 minutes and Northampton took advantage of that.
“We started the game well, we were clinical with first few scores that we got but then we had a horrible six minutes where Billy drops the ball over the line which would have made it 21-10. Then Billy rolls his ankle, and it was a big blow to lose a player like him, then his replacement is off two minutes later. It was a poor six minutes. That being said, we were 20-13 up after 25 minutes but we didn’t deal with a restart, then we got penalised then Maro Itoje was sin-binned and the momentum of the whole game swung. In fairness to the Saints, they took advantage of that brilliantly.
“I thought it was a two point game and we when we fared their defence in the last 20 minutes, we could have been a little bit smarter. I don’t think we managed our energy well enough in the last 20 minutes and I still think there was a game to be won. If we’d been a little bit smarter we still could won the match.”
On Billy Vunipola and Jackson Wray, McCall added: “Billy’s rolled his ankle and we’ll know more about that in the next couple of days. Jackson has a ‘normal concussion’ if you can describe it like that, and he’s up and about and feels ok now.”
On the last few Premiership games, he went on to say: “We have a weekend off coming up, which I think the players deserve. We understand what’s required and the Exeter game is a huge for us. It’s been a really demanding eight or nine weeks for us. It’s been relentless and non-stop, but enjoyable as well.”