Feb 23, 2018
Ian Peel: "Things Have Clicked"
Saracens forwards coach Ian Peel says that the players taking ownership has been the catalyst for the team’s good form in recent weeks.
The North Londoners have won their last five games and seventh placed Leicester travel to Allianz Park this Sunday as Sarries try to make it six successive Premiership wins. Schalk Brits and Dominic Day will be in from the start for the Men in Black, returning from injury and Peel says that Tigers will be a big test:
“There’s been a few changes through injuries, but also people like George Kruis going back into the England camp. It’s an opportunity for Schalk Brits and Dom Day, who are coming back in to start.
“They’re a couple of guys who are in the mix, they’ve come back from injury to train hard and work hard in the gym. Everything they’ve done is gearing towards them getting on the field and playing, so this is now the big test for them.”
The Six Nations period is traditionally a difficult period for European sides, but Sarries have been in great form, with the only defeat coming against Exeter in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
Peel says that the team taking ownership for their performances and players stepping up to lead has been the main contributing factor in the sustained form.
He explained: “With the collective ownership that everyone has shown in this period, everything has carried on as normal during international duty.
“Players are leading and organising themselves, making sure they’re working as hard as they can to be in the best possible position come the weekend.
“I think that maybe this year, more than last year, things have clicked for us. The connections are there and the players on the field have definitely stepped up and delivered.”
The last time Saracens played Leicester, they won on Christmas Eve to ignite their season into action and have overturned a 10-point deficit to Exeter since that day to lead the table, but Peel says that not much has changed since then and that things have been kept simple.
Peel explained: "There hasn’t been a huge change in what we’ve done, I think that the players are looking at how much ownership they take and how much they’re leading it. Driving themselves to take ownership of how they perform on the field has probably been the biggest thing.
"Also, just making sure that there’s a simple message, a simple plan and that we judge ourselves based off a couple of simple things each week. We look at what we say we’re going to do and judge ourselves on whether we achieve those things or not.
"I think giving it that simplicity and clarity helps the players go out on the pitch to go and deliver on the things we’re asking for."