Jan 03, 2016
Sanderson delighted with set-piece masterclass
Saracens coach Alex Sanderson couldn’t hide his delight after witnessing one of the most impressive set-piece displays from the north Londoners in recent memory in Saracens 26-6 defeat of Leicester Tigers at Allianz Park.
The Sarries pack marmalised Leicester Tigers up front, forcing the Tigers into conceding 23 penalties, the majority of which at the set-piece. Speaking after the game, Forwards coach Sanderson was beaming.
“For a scrum coach that’s probably one of the best days of my life,” said the former Sarries flank forward. “It wasn’t pretty at times, but it was pretty effective. Pregame we noticed that they weren’t starting with their first string front-rowers so we wanted to go for them from the off.
"At half-time, because of the slow ruck ball due to the awful conditions and the fact that Leicester were getting away with a few things at the breakdown, we couldn’t really get around the corner to play a free flowing style of rugby, so we just thought that we’d maul and scrum them to death, and it paid off in the end.
"It was like a set-piece day for us in training, 15 or so scrums and a few mauls and it pays, what we are doing in training transfers onto the field.”
The set-piece performance wasn’t lost on Sanderson’s director of rugby Mark McCall, who reserved special praise for the 36-year coach in his post-match comments.
"Alex Sanderson was a back row forward but he’s converted himself into a scrummaging coach over the last couple of seasons and he’s done a phenomenal job,” said McCall. “He is a good listener, and has listened to his props, but it is him who steers and drives such a performance, he has done a wonderful job and we saw that today.”