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Mark McCall hails Saracens’ win at Gloucester as one of best yet

Saracens full-back Alex Goode goes over for the third try against Gloucester. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images Saracens full-back Alex Goode goes over for the third try against Gloucester. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Sunday, January 5, 2014
7:03 AM

Saracens boss Mark McCall hailed “a great performance” by his Aviva Premiership leaders after Gloucester were crushed 29-8 at Kingsholm.

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Scrum-half Neil de Kock, wing David Strettle and full-back Alex Goode scored tries, while England fly-half Owen Farrell booted 14 points as Saracens reclaimed top spot from title rivals Northampton.

“I think the first 30 minutes was as good as we’ve been in terms of our overall game,” McCall said.

“Our set-piece was dominant, our kicking game and intensity were at a high level, and we combined that with some really good rugby as well.

“To be 19-0 up away from home against Gloucester takes a bit of doing. It was a great performance.”

Saracens even kept Gloucester out when they had forwards Billy Vunipola and Steve Borthwick sin-binned in quick succession during the second half, and McCall added: “We showed that togetherness, we fought for everything and the fact we didn’t concede during that time was outstanding.

“To back up the Leicester performance [before Christmas] with two away win away wins like we’ve done against Worcester and Gloucester tells you a lot about the culture and togetherness at the club.

“We are in a good place at the moment.”

McCall also paid tribute to Saracens’ England centre Brad Barritt, who shone on his first start since suffering an ankle injury in September and looks set for a Six Nations return next month.

“For Brad to produce that level of performance having had 30 minutes of rugby in five months is quite something. I thought he was outstanding,” McCall said.

“He was brilliant. He passed the ball really well, too, and the combination with Marcelo Bosch in midfield was really good.”

All Gloucester could muster in reply was a Billy Twelvetrees penalty and a late Matt Cox try, but their pack was painfully dismantled, with England internationals like Ben Morgan and Matt Kvesic experiencing an afternoon to forget.

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