Dec 09, 2017
Mako Vunipola Ready For Clermont
Mako Vunipola has said the atmosphere in the Saracens camp is ‘very good’ as the squad builds to face Clermont in a Pool 2 double-header.
Saracens have ten points from a possible ten so far in this year’s competition after bonus-point wins over Northampton and Ospreys and face the team who currently sit in second, one point behind.
Sarries come into the match raring to go after a tricky run of fixtures in the Premiership and Vunipola says that he sees adversity as a learning opportunity rather than something to dwell on.
He said: “For me it’s more about playing over what we can learn from what happened last Sunday and the last couple of weeks.
“We’ve got some experienced players and coaches who’ve been in the game long enough to know that you don’t become a bad team in one week or month; we’re still very confident in ourselves as a team.
“The great thing about it coming at this time of year is that it isn’t the end of the world for us.”, The England international continued, “We’ve still got another great opportunity this weekend and a new challenge with Clermont in the Champions Cup; so it’s about putting those wrongs right”
“The atmosphere has been very good this week, it’s obviously disappointing with the results in the last few games and the run that we’re on; it isn’t what we wanted but there’s no point in sulking about it and being hung up on it.
“It’s down to us to learn from it and be as together as we can be because we know that to get out of this it’ll take a team effort and we’re going to need every man.
The last time The Men in Black and the French Champions met it was in the Champions Cup Final in May. That was a game in which Sarries were successful but Vunipola does not believe that Sunday’s match will be easy by any measure.
The 26-year-old explained: “They’re a team with a lot of world-class players and they’re also a team that does the basics very, very well, their set-piece is second-to-none and the forward pack does the hard graft but can also break you down out wide.
“A few players have got a bit of an ‘x-factor’ about them but the players that make them tick are in the forwards; in Fritz Lee they have a world-class Number 8 who leads from the front with his carrying; as a team we have to stand up to that and it’s a big challenge for us as a pack.
“No two games of rugby are the same, this year they’ve improved their squad and will have learned from last year’s final; just like how we learned from 2014 when we lost both finals.”
“There’s no such thing as having a ‘hold’ on a team, it just comes down to whoever is the better team on the day; we know how good they are and how good we have to be to try and compete with them.