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Young: 'Decisions went against us'

Dai Young has refused to bemoan David Strettle's disputed last-gasp try that handed Saracens a 34-28 Aviva Premiership victory over his Wasps side at Twickenham.

Saracens wing Strettle completed an impressive hat-trick in the penultimate minute of the first game of Saturday's season-launching London double-header.

The 31-year-old's score was only confirmed after lengthy deliberation by the Television Match Official, denying Wasps who had notched 22 unanswered points to threaten victory.

Wasps' rugby director Young believes Strettle's third try should have been chalked off - but refused to criticise officials, instead conceding his men only had themselves to blame for defeat.

"I didn't agree with the decision to award that try but at the end of the day we've got to look at ourselves," said Young.

"Let's not point the finger at that: we've got to be big enough to get on with it and concentrate on what we got wrong that led to it.

"Decisions went against us but that's the champion team that Sarries are: any opportunities they will take.

"And that's how clinical you've got to be.

"Regards TMOs you get some in the season and some will go against you.

"That decision could have gone either way.

"It didn't go our way but we shouldn't have left ourselves in that position."

Saracens coasted to a 20-9 half-time lead courtesy of tries from Strettle and Chris Ashton.

Wasps then turned the game on its head with Christian Wade scoring twice and Nathan Hughes also crossing.

Saracens refused to stay shell shocked for long though, Strettle claiming his second score, before sealing the triumph in the dying stages.

Saracens suffered the misfortune of two TMO calls going against them in their last Twickenham visit, the Premiership final where they lost out 24-20 to Northampton.

Owen Farrell saw a score chalked off before Alex Waller's extra-time score was ratified by the television official as Saracens ended last term empty-handed.

Premiership bosses have told referees to take more decisions into their hands this term, yet Andrew Small was forced to employ TMO David Sainsbury on a number of occasions in the season-opener.

Saracens' rugby director Mark McCall felt unable to judge Strettle's pivotal try, hoping these decisions even out over time.

"The last one I didn't really look at too closely, I had my eyes closed hoping," said McCall. " I thought it was a great move worthy of winning a rugby match.

"The call was close on one of Wade's tries as well, but the officials are paid to make these decisions and we just have to let them.

"Our players are very self-aware: they're delighted they've won but they know they can get better."

McCall hailed Saracens' tenacity to steal victory after staring down the barrel of another morale-denting Twickenham defeat.

The Ulsterman admitted he had not allowed himself to consider the ramifications of another last-gasp loss at headquarters, after the Premiership final loss that followed Heineken Cup defeat last term.

"Clearly we weren't at our best today," said McCall. " To me it boils down to the fact that with 20 minutes to go, there was a mountain to climb but we showed a lot of character to come back, twice actually.

"It's not really something I've thought about, the comparison to last year's final, because we won.

"If we'd lost we probably would have thought about it, but just getting some points on the board is important for now."


From Belfast Telegraph