Nov 20, 2018
Rhodes pleased with defensive effort
Mike Rhodes praised Saracens’ defensive efforts during their win over Sale Sharks on Saturday.
The Men in Black had to remain resilient for long periods during the second half and prevented their Manchester opponents from crossing the whitewash for a second try of the game.
Sharks fly-half Rob du Preez did prove hot from the boot but Sarries dug in to cross late on before a Ben Spencer penalty settled things for good on 80 minutes.
“It was a very important win for us,” Rhodes said.
“Sale are a good side who like to play a wide, expansive game so we really had to be on it to get the win. We made it a little bit difficult for ourselves towards the end by giving away quite a lot of penalties but fortunately we were able to come back with a couple of minutes left and get the try and then the last-minute penalty.
“I thought we defended really well in the first 20 minutes of the second half, but we did put ourselves under a lot of pressure with those penalties. However, we didn’t give away a try and only three point which was very good from the lads and for the most part our defence was pretty good.”
The match saw the return of a familiar face in Chris Wyles due to Saracens’ lack of options on the wings.
The American started after temporarily coming of retirement to help the Sarries cause while there were first Premiership starts for Tom Woolstencroft and Christian Judge, and a league debut for Joel Kpoku.
Rhodes said: “It was good to have Wylesy back, he always brings a lot of energy to the team. I’m sure he was happy just to survive because when you get to his age you get a bit frail! I’m sure he’s just happy to walk away from this one.
“There were a few guys winning their first cap and a few guys who haven’t played much, and it was a great effort by all of them.
“It’s a hell of an effort to come away with a result with so many people away. It’s a great achievement from the lads and hopefully it’ll put us in good stead for the next couple of weeks.”