Dec 07, 2015
McCall happy with squad blend after Falcons win
Director of Rugby Mark McCall was content with his side’s 38-3 win away to Newcastle Falcons, as his Saracens team extended their unbeaten start to the 2015/16 season to eight games.
McCall rotated his Sarries side from the team that despatched Worcester Warriors at Twickenham Stadium, with the Ulsterman making 13 changes, promoting youngsters such as Nick Tompkins and Richard Barrington into the starting XV.
“With a much-changed team and a really young team the energy had with the kicking game and defensively it was really good,” said McCall.
“They kicked the ball a lot and it probably wasn’t the prettiest to watch at times but I thought our decision-making as to when to kick the ball back when it wasn’t on and when to counter-attack, and we did that pretty well at times.
“Had our maul five metres from their line worked a little better it might have been more comfortable for us after an hour but overall it’s a great result for us.
“They came with a massive kicking plan from nine. We kind of thought they would after watching the Sale game last week and they did that pretty relentlessly.
“There were times when it was on the money and there was nothing really on we had to kick it back and with Ben Spencer he’s superb at that.
“But when we put a bit of pressure on them they gave us some space to attack and I thought our counter-attack was good.
“Sometimes in these games you have to be patient and I thought we did that well. Overall it was a really strong squad effort.”
“We have talked a lot about our younger players in the last four or five weeks, but the two old half-backs also did well. Charlie controlled things beautifully, while Neil brought a lot of tempo to the game,” said McCall. “It is good to have that nice balance in the team, with youngsters like Maro Itoje in the pack, who was immense.”