Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

McCall very satisfied with victory

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was impressed with his side's resilience against Worcester.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was pleased with the "very satisfying" 26-8 bonus-point victory over Worcester that maintained his side's dominance of the Aviva Premiership.

League leaders Saracens had not beaten Worcester at Sixways Stadium in the Premiership since 2007 but made amends with a four-try win. They are now three points above second-placed Northampton in the table.

The Londoners' victory was a professional display that pleased McCall, despite the fact he oversaw a second half in which his side were under the cosh for long periods.

Wing David Strettle, hooker Schalk Brits, full-back Alex Goode and fly-half Charlie Hodgson all scored tries for Saracens in the opening 30 minutes to grab the bonus point, with Hodgson securing three conversions.

Worcester's points came through a solitary penalty from fly-half Ignacio Mieres and a first-half try from number eight Leonardo Senatore.

There was also good news for England national coach Stuart Lancaster as centre Brad Barritt returned to action following foot surgery. He sustained the injury back in September.

McCall said: "We scored four wonderful tries in the first 30 minutes and fought for each other in the second half. It is a very satisfying result for us.

"We have struggled down at Sixways in the last four seasons and lost here, so to come and get a bonus-point win, we are really happy.

"The scoreline was unfortunate for Worcester as they fronted up but we were very clinical and took our chances.

"You see it often that you have the job done early, you have the bonus point in the bag, you have important games coming up and as much as you would like to sustain a performance for 80 minutes, sometimes it does not happen."

McCall said that Barritt's return was "a highlight of the day", adding: "It was great to get thirty minutes out of Brad and he will be likely to start against Gloucester next week."

The defeat means that Worcester remain winless at the foot of the table and, despite making a brave effort in the second period against a side which had seven full internationals in their starting line-up, they were unable to find a way to score more tries.

Director of rugby Dean Ryan said: "We paid the penalty for probably spending half an hour sightseeing and, after 20 or 30 minutes, we decided to get involved in the game and were a very good team.

"I think it is real credit to us because they are a really good side with some good players. It just showed against Leicester last week that, if they get a start, they can do a lot of damage. I was really pleased with our response.

"There is an element where you sit and watch and wait and you just cannot do that with a team that has pace and power as they have got. We showed in the second half we can take things to them.

"We recognise we have some massive challenges in the new year but we are in a very different place than where we were six or seven weeks ago."

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