Saracens - "To win the match from that position is a great testament to the character of this group"

Mar 25, 2019

"To win the match from that position is a great testament to the character of this group"

Head Coach Alex Austerberry gives us his take on Saturday's win over Loughborough Lightning

First and foremost, the group showed immense character on Saturday

From Izzy Carroll scoring the bonus point try in the last second to secure the five points in the Development League, to the 1st team scoring in the dying seconds to come back from the dead in their match later that day.

We always knew it was going to be a tough day at the office against Loughborough’s 1st team and that we would have to perform well.

For the first 30 minutes we were excellent. Defensively dominant and our power game was causing problems. We were clinical and should have had a four try lead.

However it was disallowed and it was costly as we lost two players in the next phase and Loughborough started to establish themselves and got an important score before half time. 

We came out in the second half flying and got an important score to get the bonus point but that was the point the game turned. Our error count increased, and our ill-discipline was our own downfall and credit to Loughborough they capitalised on this and evolved the way they were playing.

The stop start nature of the second half and our inability to grab control of the game after stoppages created a siege of our line. Our defence was courageous, but we were simply asking too much of ourselves.

Even though Loughborough scored with three minutes remaining we knew if we could regain the restart and play tight, we would carve out an opportunity.

Step forward our captain Lotte, who was outstanding all day.

We took the restart, forced a penalty and then showed great patience and execution under pressure to get the winning score.

To win the match from that position is a great testament to the character of this group. In adversity, some of it self-inflicted, the group stood up and found a way.

As a coaching team we are immensely proud of our response, but we know as a collective, we should have managed key times in the game much better. We need to learn from the experience and if we do, we will be in a better place.

Our discipline must improve and if that happens, we may find ourselves in better positions in the dying moments of a game. We learnt a lot about ourselves on Saturday.

To get an away win at one of our play-off rivals, a very good team, well coached and full of threats was great preparation for the contests to come and we could not have wanted more of a test in our first game back after the 6 Nations period.

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