Belfast Telegraph

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McCall delighted with bonus-point win

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall praised his team for a job well done after their emphatic 45-0 triumph over Edinburgh at Murrayfield in their Heineken Cup opener.

Charlie Hodgson led the way with a 25-point haul, scoring one of five tries - Joel Tomkins, Owen Farrell, Chris Ashton and Alex Goode claimed the others - and booting four penalties and four conversions as Edinburgh were completely outclassed.

"That was very nice to be able to push on in the second half," said McCall, whose side led 16-0 at the break. "In the Heineken Cup a win is vital in the opening game but to get the extra point from scoring those tries was a real bonus."

Edinburgh had expressed their determination before kick-off to get into Saracens and prevent their well-drilled forwards from working, yet the visitors dominated the forward battle.

McCall insisted it had been no walk in the park for his players, though.

"Edinburgh are a difficult team to play against," he said. "It was a huge credit to our boys that Edinburgh were shut out in the game."

In particular he paid credit to lock and captain Steve Borthwick, who was named man of the match.

"He hugely deserved that," McCall said. "He was instrumental in disrupting the Edinburgh lineout so they had no platform."

Edinburgh last season became the first Scottish team to reach the Heineken Cup semi-finals, so it was no surprise that home coach Michael Bradley was left in a low mood after his men slumped to the club's worst European defeat.

"We've let everyone down," he said. "Today was completely unacceptable. We need to give a big performance next week."


From Belfast Telegraph