Apr 23, 2016
Preview: 'We have to perform on the day' - Farrell
Owen Farrell believes the Saracens results of recent weeks will ensure they are flying come their Champions Cup semi-final on Saturday.
After a tricky Six Nations period for the club, including a 64-23 defeat at the hands of their semi-final opponents Wasps, Mark McCall’s side have racked up four successive victories against Exeter, Bath, Northampton Saints and Harlequins.
Farrell insists Sarries have gained experience from their previous European knockout stage encounters, as well as learning valuable lessons from recent performances.
“It is obviously a massive game and these games don’t come around too often” said Farrell. “We have been in our fair share of them over the past few years but you don’t want to take these for granted so we have to put everything in to it and make sure we are ready.
“You have a good week, you make sure you prepare well which gives you confidence to go in and just perform like you do.
I think that week that we had against Northampton we had had two brilliant performances against Exeter and Bath the weeks before that and things were going well and I don’t want to say we went through the motions or anything like that because we don’t here but we didn’t have to dig for it that week and I felt that probably added to the anxiousness of it for some people.
But this week we have had the Northampton game and the game against Quins where we felt we could have done a lot better so we’ll make sure we take that learning from them games and put it in to our preparation so we feel like we are flying come Saturday.”
Saracens have become a fixture in the latter stages of European competition in recent times, featuring in three of the last four semi-finals but Farrell believes that experience will count for nothing if the players aren’t at the top of their game.
“I think this team has enough experience to do well but that counts for nothing if you don’t perform on the day” Farrell added. “We had enough experience last year to do well so we have just got to make sure we have improved from last year to this year, all over the park we would hope so we have got to make sure that it is getting down to the big game end of the season now and we have got to make sure we are at our best.”
Since their humbling encounter with Wasps back in February, Saracens have welcomed back a host of players, including Farrell himself, from a Grand Slam win and the fly-half believes that he and his fellow Saracens international contingent have all improved during their spell away.
“I think the most important thing is we have been involved in a Six Nations where we have all come back better players. It is the same as it has been every Six Nations I have been involved in, you come back to your club and feel like you’re a better player for the experiences that you have had and that is no different this time and I certainly think lads will take confidence from that.”