Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

McCall sees a confidence boost

Mark McCall insists Saracens have the spring back in their step after they ruthlessly despatched London Welsh 78-7 to pick up their first Aviva Premiership win in more than two months.

Days after Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths called for an abolishment of the Premiership's salary cap to compete with Europe's biggest spending clubs, the Allianz Park outfit racked up 11 tries against an Exiles side still searching for their first win of the campaign.

The bonus point was secure within half an hour as Mako Vunipola (2), Brett Sharman, George Kruis and Chris Ashton all crossed before the break.

Replacement Richard Wigglesworth then scored a second-half hat-trick in addition to scores from Jackson Wray, Richard Barrington and Ben Ransom, while deposed England fly-half Owen Farrell notched 23 points from the tee.

McCall refused to entertain questions about Saracens' salary cap stance but tipped his hat to the departing Mouritz Botha, who leaves for South Africa after arriving at the club in 2009.

"It's a job well done," he said. "It was a clinical performance. Sometimes when you've got what you want at half-time it's easy to take your foot off the gas and do the wrong things.

"It can be scrappy, but the second half was probably better than the first half. We scored some good tries. Obviously we're thrilled to get the five points, and a bit of confidence obviously as well.

"I thought he (Farrell) looked really sharp. He made good decisions, he passed the ball beautifully, he obviously place-kicked well. He had a great game as did a lot of people. "

"(Botha) has been a huge part of what we've tried to build here over those five-and-a-half years. He's the ultimate team man. We're sorry to see him leave but glad he's got the opportunity he's got."

Elliot Kear's try just before half-time did mean the Exiles got on the scoresheet - but head coach Justin Burnell admits all his side can do is go back to the drawing board.

He said: "It's Back to work on Monday morning. It's like anything else, you just work and try and really just try and close the gap. Today was an example of quality across the board, off the bench and in every aspect.

"(The dressing room) is very sombre as you can imagine, and again I guess it's not pretty seeing it. We'll watch the match on Monday with the review.

"We've got to pick up three wins out of the next 12 games and obviously you want to hope that teams around you don't pick theirs up."


From Belfast Telegraph