The Coach’s View: Alex Austerberry
We are no worse off and we are no better off after the draw with Harlequins.
We still control everything and it’s important not to lose to a rival that will be there in the play-offs.
It was a sparring match rather than a knock-out blow. We showed real grit to bounce back from being behind twice to earn two points, and that was a good test of character.
Both teams had opportunities to put the game further away but both stayed in the fight and ultimately we now control our destiny going into the last two rounds of the league season, which is a great position to be in.
You can’t question any of the physicality or energy shown, there was some great rugby played but at times when we had an opportunity to really turn the screw, they found a way of relieving that pressure.
Some of that was through their own play and some was from a few concentration lapses on our part, which is something we want to improve moving forward.
On top of that there were other elements to look at, for example width to width and the kick exchange battle were big turns of value for both teams.
We found solutions to a lot of problems and we have evolved again in that area, so hopefully we can kick on in the next few weeks.
Whichever three other teams make it to the play-offs, they have all seen the levels of their performance move on. That includes us and Quins as well, no-one has stood still.
Moving on to Loughborough, this Saturday is a hugely important fixture, first versus fourth. If we get a bonus point win, we are guaranteed to finish top of the league and our next two targets are ensuring a home play-off berth and then the league title too.
It’s not often that you’ll hear me talking about winning the league and finishing first but if we do well and put in a good performance in our next game, that is the by-product.
We’ve got business to do and we’re back focusing on the areas where Loughborough will challenge us, but also where we will be challenged over the next two months with a semi-final and potentially a final to come!
You can watch Saracens Women face Loughborough Lightning live this Saturday by clicking this link.