Nov 26, 2017
McCall Praises Effort After Narrow Loss
Following a narrow 18-20 loss against top of the table rivals Exeter Chiefs, Mark McCall praised his players efforts after the game was settled in a nervy finish.
Saracens started the better side and went into the interval with a 15-6 lead after Nathan Earle combined with Alex Goode for the latter to score the first try before Schalk Brits added a powerful second.
Ten minutes after the interval, Ian Whitten scored first for Exeter after picking up a great line before Moray Low scored from close-range for West Country side to win. Speaking after the match, McCall praised his side’s hard work.
He said: “It was a very tough game with two good teams, we were under more pressure than they were under for large parts of the game and as a result we put a huge amount of effort in so I’m just disappointed.”
Three minutes after half-time it looked as though Saracens had taken a three-try lead through Earle only for it to be ruled out by the TMO and McCall highlighted the impact such moments can have on a top-class contest.
He explained: “Small things against good teams make a big difference, we had a line-out maul five metres from their line which could have made it 20-6 that was nearly converted but couldn’t quite do it before being pegged back at our end.”
The Sarries Director of Rugby was also able to find some praise for the Chiefs who won their first Premiership title back in May, expressing his admiration for the way they finished the game so strongly, saying:
“They were very good in the last 20 minutes in terms of controlling the ball and controlling where the game was played; their kicking game was also very good and we couldn’t get out of our half at the end.”
It was also a proud day for academy graduate Max Malins as he made his first Premiership start, the 20-year-old helped the North Londoners to establish an early lead with his playmaking.
McCall praised the fly half, explaining: “He did well, it’s obviously a very tough opposition to play against on your first Premiership start.”