Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

McCall salutes scrapping Sarries

Mark McCall
Mark McCall

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall hailed the battling qualities of his side after they edged to a 15-14 win in their top-of-the-table Aviva Premiership clash with Leicester at Welford Road.

Five penalties from full-back Alex Goode were enough for the Watford-based side to become the first team to win at Leicester's fortress in the league this season, having been the last side to do so at the tail-end of last term.

McCall said: "We weren't cock- a-hoop in the dressing room. We have played much better than we did today but that is how you have to play against Leicester at Welford Road, it was a real arm wrestle, neither side could get away from the other and we just came out on the right end of it."

He added: "We said before the game that there would be moments when they would have the momentum and a lot of teams get overwhelmed by that, and it's important to be able to rise to that.

"We were disappointed with how we defended in the first half, we didn't feel we got off the line like we had been doing and we missed a couple of tackles along the way, but we were better in the second half and that was a big factor in the win.

"Today was about who could play in the opposition half more and we just about won that battle. But this win just means we are four points closer to making sure we make the play-offs, which is all we are interested in."

McCall also praised the performance of match-winner Goode as his side's own winning run extended to six games in all competitions, including an impressive trio of away wins at Northampton, Wasps and now at Leicester.

"He is more like the Alex Goode at the end of last season," said McCall. "The last four or five weeks his kicking has been excellent and he was backed up by an excellent display by the pack. I thought we scrummed very well today too."

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