Jan 03, 2016
McCall hails pack performance after Tigers result
Director of rugby Mark McCall lavished praise on his side’s set-piece performance after his unbeaten Saracens team dismantled an in-form Leicester Tigers 26-6 at Allianz Park.
McCall’s side bullied Leicester off the park in a wonderful display of set-piece superiority forcing the Tigers into conceding three penalty tries, a Premiership record.
Speaking after the north Londoners' twelfth win of the season, McCall highlighted Saracens' second-half response after they went into the break with a slender 7-6 lead.
“Our set-piece was brilliant and was all game,” said McCall. “We were a little disappointed at half-time with our work away from the set-piece, as I thought our physicality wasn’t where it need to be or what we expect, albeit we were playing into a very strong wind and we should have been 13-6 up. But I thought we were at a different level in the second half, and that allied with our set-piece performance meant that we dominated that second half and were camped in their final third.
“It was good performance because the conditions were horrendous. We tried to play a little bit when we were in the right areas in the second half, which was very pleasing, but it was a good lesson for us in that first half, as we found out that if you’re not physically where you need to be then you can be pretty average - which we were on that first half. When we stepped it up in the second half we looked like a different animal.
"We carried brilliantly in that second half and our maul was magnificent, so was our scrum. Petrus Du Plessis was superb, and I’m not sure how he wasn’t Man of the Match, as to scrummage that way against Marcos Ayerza takes some doing. I thought he was brilliant today."
The Man of the Match award went to Saracens’ England lock George Kruis, and McCall praised his lock’s impressive performance.
“George has been playing that for a while. His confidence of going away with England and becoming an international has grown so much, not only does he call the lineout brilliantly he’s a magnificent athlete around the park. I think he’s absolute dead cert to be starting for England in the Six Nations, as he’s playing the best rugby he’s ever played.”