Oct 15, 2017
Mark McCall praises complete performance in Champions Cup opener
Mark McCall praised Saracens best performance of the year following their 13-57 bonus point win against Northampton Saints to open the Champions Cup campaign.
The testy affair saw elbows fly, but Saracens managed to keep their cool and run in eight tries, including two from Liam Williams, against their old rivals.
Brad Barritt, Calum Clark, Vincent Koch, Mako Vunipola, Alex Lozowski, and Ben Spencer finished off the scoresheet. Though it was Sarries’ relentlessness in both attack and defence which impressed director of rugby McCall the most.
He said: “That was definitely our best performance of the year. And one of the really pleasing things was how long we sustained that for. The group challenged themselves at half-time to maintain the intensity we had in the first half. You could see the evidence of that.
“None of us thought it was going to end up the way it did. I think when we play like that and we win the collisions like we did then your attack is made a lot easier.”
A period of scrappy play before the half threatened to ruin the game, and after Owen Farrell lifted Ben Foden in a tackle the home side and supporters turned on the Men in Black.
McCall agreed with referee Pascal Gauzere that the tackle was legal, though expressed concern over the ensuing scrap.
Nonetheless, it was an overwhelmingly positive performance from the reigning champions, and the pride was evident from McCall.
He said: “We fought with everything we had.
“It’s crucial that we can back up what we did tonight. Ospreys pushed Clermont very close today so it’s obviously huge for us next week.”
Saracens make their Champions Cup return to Allianz Park next Saturday as they take on Welsh giants Ospreys (Kick-off 19H45), with limited tickets still available for the huge clash!