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.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

12 minutes ago

Arsene Wenger came out fighting ahead of Wednesday’s huge Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at the Emirates against Chelsea.

Arsenal U23s beat Bayern Munich U23s 5-2 in the Premier League International Cup at Meadow Walk on Tuesday evening. Read on for Layth Yousif’s player ratings on the talented junior gunners.


Layth Yousif was at London Colney on Tuesday morning to hear what Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had to say about playing London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates on Wednesday – with a chance of silverware at stake for the winner.

Spurs looked to have lost ground in the battle for a Champions League spot on Sunday, but Liverpool’s shock defeat at Swansea has lifted spirits again

Read what Arsene Wenger had to say on new signing Henrik Mkhitaryan, the outgoing Alexis Sanchez, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Chelsea team news and much more.

Bostik North: Haringey Borough 1 (O’Donoghue 38) Potters Bar Town 2 (Adcock 27, Murray 66p)

Yesterday, 23:03

Arsenal welcomed five young Arsenal supporters to their training ground for an unforgettable day out.

Yesterday, 21:26

Read what new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan had to say after he joined the club on Monday.


For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Toni Krok, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, has set up a charity to help people living with the condition and their families adjust to the challenges it brings.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

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