Mark McCall wants Saracens to defend better ahead of Twickenham showdown despite big Wasps win
PUBLISHED: 16:13 19 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:14 19 May 2018
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Some would have been pleased about scoring 57 points but the focus of Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall was all on the 33 they conceded in a rip-roaring Aviva Premiership Rugby play-off semi-final with Wasps.
The result, which saw Saracens outscore their visitors to Allianz Park by six tires to five, sets up a final match with either Exeter Chiefs or Newcastle Falcons at Twickenham on Saturday.
But before that date McCall will have his troops practicing defensive drills.
He said: “To get to a 30-5 lead against a side as good as Wasps with 45 minutes gone, the only pleasing thing about what happened next is that we showed composure when Wasps came back.
“And we continued to attack the game as well, we didn’t just try and sneak a win, we went for it.
“Our attack was good all day but obviously we’ve got a huge amount to do with our defence before next week.
“We’re a good defensive side but we got it wrong today.”
The Ulsterman was delighted though with the effort of his big-name players, in particular Owen Farrell, who landed all 11 kicks at goal, and Mako Vunipola.
“[Farrell] did everything well,” he said. “He place-kicked well, he led our attack around the field but he also defended well.
“He made some big tackles but I though a lot of our big players stood up today.
“[Mako’s] first 25 minutes was as good as I’ve seen.
He was unbelievable in the way he carried and he’s got this ability to beat people which not many loose-head props have.
“And he also srummages well, his set-piece was excellent today, and people like him and Maro got us over the gain-line constantly and got us quick ball.”
McCall now switches his attention to Twickenham where he hopes the defensive side of the game will have improved.
He said: “The first 25 minutes was as good as we’ve played. You saw a real desire and intent to go and win it and hopefully we can fix a few things from today.
“I don’t think any of us thought we’d be involved in a 90-point semi-final.
“I’m hoping the final is not like that.”