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Shaw wants to win it all

Saracens are targeting a clean sweep of trophies this season after beginning their LV= Cup campaign with a 25-20 win over Harlequins at Allianz Park, according to assistant boss Joe Shaw.

The home side led 15-3 at the interval and appeared to be in complete control only for Quins to improve greatly in the second half and run them close.

Quins were totally out of sorts in the first half as elementary errors presented their opponents with two tries and Saracens should have had the game firmly in the bag at the interval.

Duncan Taylor, Mike Ellery and Jack Wilson scored Saracens' tries with Ben Spencer kicking two penalties and two conversions.

Louis Grimoldby kicked a first-half penalty for Quins and the second half saw their resurgence rewarded with tries from Mark Lambert and Charlie Walker, with replacement Tim Swiel converting both and kicking a penalty.

Shaw said: "Each competition is important to us from the A League up. Obviously you have to put youth in at certain stages but we want to win every game.

"We were in control but had two tries ruled out by the TMO. We tried to force things too much in the final quarter and let them grow into the game. However, Quins had a bit of experience in their line-up and a lot of talent so we are more than happy with the result."

Next Friday Saracens travel to Neath to face Ospreys in the next round of the LV= Cup, with Shaw indicating: " We will be taking a few more youngsters to Wales on Friday as we have a game against Western Province here on Sunday."

Harlequins' director of rugby Conor O'Shea was delighted with his side's comeback.

"At half-time we could have chucked in the towel as we had given away two soft tries and looked out of it," he said.

"However we showed great mental fortitude as we reacted to a massive challenge as the game went on. They had six internationals in the pack and some serious performers out there.

"It is a strange competition and we are happy with the bonus point. It's a quick turnaround to Friday (when they face Newport-Gwent Dragons) and we may play a few more senior players against the Dragons as it would be nice to have something to play for in this competition after Christmas."


From Belfast Telegraph