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Winning mindset sees Saracens through, says academy coach Ian Vass

Published 12/11/2016

Dean Richards' Newcastle lost at Saracens
Dean Richards' Newcastle lost at Saracens

Academy coach Ian Vass emphasised the importance of a winning habit amongst the entire squad at Saracens after they beat 14-man Newcastle 29-18 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

Saracens, who won this competition two years ago and the domestic and European double last year, lost to Gloucester last weekend but bounced back with a bonus point victory on Saturday.

The Falcons had taken an early 10-point lead at Allianz Park but the reigning champions fought back through tries from Nick Tompkins, Scott Spurling, Jared Saunders and George Perkins.

"We lost the lead last week and for the guys to mentally come back from being down in this game as well, I thought we did well," Vass said.

"The competition is really important. To be able to fight on lots of different fronts you need a big squad of players and all of them have got to be ready to slot into the team at any point.

"We know what it feels like to win and that experience for our team is important. Trying to create those memories and experiences is what we're all about.

"A new group of players, to have experience of winning and understand what it takes to win, to gain experience, is really important."

Opeti Fonua had opened the scoring for the Falcons while Saracens' Nick Isiekwe was in the sin bin.

Saracens led 24-13 by the time Craig Willis received a red card for a dangerous tackle before Perkins claimed the bonus point score.

Santiago Socino managed a consolation try and Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards was confident his side would learn from their experience.

"I was delighted with the number of performances out there today," he said. "It's probably the naivety of youth for us.

"The boys got a little bit loose at certain times and gave them a way in.

"It's that understanding of why it's opening up and how we got there and, if you keep on doing the same things, it'll happen more and more often.

"We didn't have that patience to do that but, again, it comes down to the naivety of youth."

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