Apr 20, 2014
McCall praises squad effort
After Saracens recorded their 18th Premiership win of the season away to the Newcastle Falcons, director of rugby Mark McCall praised the quality of his squad after they beat Dean Richards' charges 18-23 in a tight contest at Kingston Park.
"It was a tough game and we expected a tough game" said McCall.
"After last week we took the opportunity to leave a few players at home this weekend. We’ve got a six day turnaround for the Clermont semi-final and today showed the quality of our squad, to come up here and come away with a win, we’re chuffed with that".
He continued; "It moves us up to 80 points, and we are more or less guaranteed top of the competition at the end of the regular season. Today was our 18th win in 20 games in the Premiership, which is pretty good going. We’ve got to manage our resources as cleverly as we can".
McCall welcomed back Springbok second-rower Alistair Hargreaves and England Saxons flanker Will Fraser from long-term injury, as well as Alex Goode who played his first game since being stretchered off in the Heineken Cup quarter-final away to Ulster two weeks ago.
"Everyone came through well" beamed the 46-year-old.
"It was Alistair Hargreaves’ first game for two and a half months today, and we made him play eighty minutes which was what he wasn’t expecting, but he did a great job. Will Fraser also went well - again he is recently back from injury, so we’ve got some reinforcements coming back at just the right time.
"I thought in the first half Alex (Goode) was the stand out player on the pitch. I thought he was magnificent and at times he was electric, on the ball he made great decisions and it was great to get him back on the park with the Clermont game just a week away.
"Today's result creates a feel good feelings around the club. A lot of the players who played today haven’t played that much in the last few weeks and they got their opportunity today and took it which is wonderful, and we are looking forward to the preparation for next week now" he added.