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McCall hails 'special' Saracens

Saracens rugby director Mark McCall hailed his squad as "a special group" after watching them take a big stride towards the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup with a 16-13 win over the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium.

A magnificent defensive effort, led by outstanding flanker Jacques Burger, laid the foundation for a victory which puts Saracens' European destiny in their own hands when hostilities resume in January. The Ospreys dominated territory and possession but were forced into countless errors by Saracens' suffocating performance without the ball.

McCall said: "That was massive for us," he said. "We spoke about needing to back up a good performance and a good win last weekend against a good team who were unbeaten on their home park for a very long time and we have done that."

He added: "It was a different game to last weekend, it was scrappy and we had to roll our sleeves up and dig in, I have nothing but respect for our group. We were down to 14 men for 20 minutes in that second half and they still worked and worked, they are a special group."

Dan Biggar kicked two penalties for the Ospreys and converted a second-half try from lock Ian Gough, but they could not make good on their dominance and they are realistically out of contention for a place in the knockout stages.

And head coach Sean Holley rued the mistakes that had cost his side.

"A couple of errors cost us," he said. "To concede a try from a charge down was very frustrating.

"We dominated territory and possession and some errors at crucial moments cost us. But full credit to Saracens, they have an outstanding defence and we couldn't break it down.

"I can't fault the effort and attitude of the players, they went for it and didn't leave anything on the field. We couldn't ask much more than to tidy up some bits of accuracy."


From Belfast Telegraph