Search

Rugby Union: Mark McCall praises Saracens players after narrow victory against Ospreys

PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 October 2017

Chris Wyles celebrates scoring for Saracens against Ospreys (pic; Paul Harding/PA)

Chris Wyles celebrates scoring for Saracens against Ospreys (pic; Paul Harding/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Sarries triumphed 36-34 at Allianz Park on Saturday

Mark McCall praised Saracens’ ability to find a way past the Ospreys’ spirited challenge in a roller-coaster 36-34 Champions Cup victory at Allianz Park.

The Welsh region had won only one of seven matches before arriving in north London but by the 26th minute they led 17-7 and their evening finished with two bonus points, Sam Cross touching down in the 79th minute to double their reward.

Saracens issued a statement of intent in their European title defence by running eight tries past Northampton, but this was a below-par performance even if the result restored the champions to the summit of Pool Two at the expense of Clermont.

“Give Ospreys all the credit, they played phenomenally,” director of rugby McCall said.

“It was a very difficult game and they made us struggle to get quick ball whereas we got plenty of quick ball last week.

“They defended well and put us under real pressure in attack. At times we showed some good resilience, to come back from 17-7 down.

“When things aren’t going your way some times, your decision making on the ball can get looser and we probably weren’t as precise as we needed to be and we chose the wrong options from time to time. But that’s rugby and that’s sport.

“We talked about it during the week, saying that this match might be more frustrating, but at the end of it all we found a way to win and a way to win with a bonus point.

“We’re in a good position in the table, but a snapshot of our season at this stage is we’ve been inconsistent.”

Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones felt the display at Allianz Park was a step in the right direction from a team that lost back rows Dan Lydiate and Justin Tipuric to injury on the day of the game.

“We’ve fallen short here. Winning is a habit and unfortunately losing can be a habit too. I’d like to think we’re not in the habit of losing but we’ve come close in a few games previously,” Jones said.

“Against Saracens we looked like a team that hasn’t lost as many games as we have in previous weeks, but ultimately we fell short.

“We deserve to have a bit of pride in the performance, but that doesn’t mean we accept mediocrity and we have to go again next week.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

West Ham United Hammers midfielder Jack Wilshere says there is far more to come from Manuel Pellegrini’s side this season.

Nicky Shorey has a 100 per cent record so far, but can expect a big challenge on Saturday

Yesterday, 15:00

The Chilean praised Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the capital clash

Yesterday, 11:00

Mauricio Pochettino and Harry Kane urge Spurs to kick on following record-equalling league start

Yesterday, 10:24

Wembley Stadium plays host to the second of its three NFL games of the season on Sunday and fans will be hoping that they are treated to a better game than last week’s one-sided contest between the Seattle Seahawks and the Oakland Raiders.

Yesterday, 09:00

The full-back, who is approaching 250 appearances for the club, discussed the win at Burgess Hill Town and much more

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been discussing various topics with Layth Yousif during his exclusive interview this week. The talented 26-year-old invited Layth to his house for an in-depth discussion on a wide-ranging number of issues as the star prepares to launch his first soccer school at the end of this month. Read on for more...

Thu, 17:00

Tottenham Hotspur will be without Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose and Dele Alli for the fixture at the London Stadium

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

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.

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

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now