Beaten Saracens back on track says Mako

PUBLISHED: 19:54 17 December 2017 | UPDATED: 19:54 17 December 2017

Saracens prop Mako Vunipola (pic Paul Harding/PA)

Saracens prop Mako Vunipola (pic Paul Harding/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Saracens prop Mako Vunipola believes the European champions are back on track despite being beaten at the death by Clermont Auvergne.

Mark McCall’s men led 13-0 and looked to be on course for a revenge victory after last Monday’s heavy 46-14 home defeat to the side they overcame to win the Champions Cup in Lyon last season.

But instead Clermont inflicted Sarries’ seventh straight defeat with a late Scott Spedding penalty sealing a 24-21 success for the French club.

Vunipola said: “I think we’re a team who pride ourselves on the performances we deliver and even though we didn’t win today, the performance was one we can be proud of.

“It was an amazing atmosphere and we had our backs against the walls at times.

“The boys went out there and relished it. We were disappointed at the end there, our discipline let us down.

“But Clermont are a quality side and we can take heart from that game. We know there’s a lot to work on but to come here and not let them in for a try is pleasing, but there’s a lot of work to go.

“A few boys will be disappointed but that’s expected when you lose a close game. We have to move on from this, take the positive and look at what we have to work on for next.”

Ben Spencer’s early try helped the European champions build their lead but the three-time runners-up chipped away at the lead thanks to the boot of Morgan Parra.

The scrum-half surpassed 500 European points as he landed five kicks to add to Spedding’s long-range penalty to make it 18-13, before Alex Lozowski went over for Sarries’ second to get them back in front.

But Spedding was on hand to kick Clermont to victory, leaving Saracens in need of two wins from their final two matches to give themselves a chance of advancing to the quarter-finals.

Ospreys leapfrogged Saracens into second place in Pool 2, while Clermont are on course to finally lift the trophy after falling at the last hurdle on three occasions.

Match-winner Spedding said: “This match was more difficult than Monday but we knew that, we knew they were more motivated and they would come to make a statement, but we have managed to stop them from doing that.”

Man of the match Parra added: “We struggled to get into the match this time, many factors were different compared with last Monday because they raised their level of play, which is exactly what we expected.

“We need to build on this and get points in the Top14, we’re going to get back in it quickly but we need to savour tonight.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 17:00

Sarries in Pool Two along with Tigers, Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors

Yesterday, 14:00

Toby Alderweireld played his part to deny five of his Spurs team-mates a chance of finishing third in Russia

Yesterday, 11:10

Former Finchley amateur to put WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight titles on the line against Russian rival

Yesterday, 10:00

The Spurs goalkeeper made a mistake against Croatia, but it didn’t stop him lifting the trophy at full time

Yesterday, 09:00

France marked their 20th anniversary since winning the World Cup by being crowned once again after sealing a 4-2 victory against Croatia.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Hendon came close to snatching a draw from their friendly against St Albans City at a boiling hot Silver Jubilee Park on Saturday.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

So, England finished fourth at the World Cup finals in Russia.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Boreham Wood hosted Unai Emery’s Arsenal’s at Meadow Park on Saturday afternoon. Read on for Layth Yousif’s report.


Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now