Search

Saracens ‘shocked’ by record Champions Cup loss

PUBLISHED: 07:47 12 December 2017 | UPDATED: 07:47 12 December 2017

Saracens' director of rugby Mark McCall (pic Chris Radburn/PA)

Saracens' director of rugby Mark McCall (pic Chris Radburn/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Mark McCall admitted Saracens were shocked by their 46-14 collapse to Clermont in a record Champions Cup defeat for the holders.

The heavyweight Pool Two showdown had been delayed by 26 hours due to adverse conditions around Allianz Park and it was the French giants who better adapted to the delay by amassing six tries in a repeat of last season’s final.

Saracens lost up to £300,000 due to the postponement and their misery was extended on to the pitch where they crashed to their greatest loss in European competition and a sixth-successive defeat before a crowd of 2,661.

“We didn’t see that coming,” said director of rugby McCall.

“I know we’ve lost a few games in a row, but they were relatively tight games that we lost by a point or two here or there, but we never saw that coming.

“It shows what conceding a couple of early tries for the opposition can do to your confidence, but we missed so many tackles which is unlike us.

“Individuals were falling off tackles and Clermont have the individuals to penalise us for that.

“We felt good as a group before the game, so the postponement wasn’t really relevant.”

Saracens missed a total of 37 tackles and it was Fijian wing Alivereti Raka who made the most of their generosity, completing a five-minute hat-trick inside the first 25 minutes of the match.

The rivals meet again in France on Sunday with Clermont now occupying first place in Pool Two with three rounds of the group phase remaining.

“What we said in the changing room is that by the end of January we hope we can be proud of how we we respond to this difficult situation we find ourselves in,” McCall said.

“Potentially that isn’t just about outcomes because we have a difficult game against Clermont away in six days, it’s also about staying tight as a group and sticking together as a group.

“We’ve got enough good players at the club and people who care about the club enough to respond in the right way over a six-week period.

“We have three Champions Cup games and three Aviva Premiership games to try to find some form and get back to our true selves.

“That won’t be easy because we’ve got a few injuries, but let’s see how we respond in six weeks time to this very difficult situation.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

30 minutes ago

The new boys lost out in a thriller to another unbeaten side in the league

The Tottenham Hotspur defender praised the leadership skills of his club team-mate and discussed the firepower in the England squad

12:00

They’ve kept 194 clean sheets for their country between them but which one of these five shot stoppers is England’s greatest goalkeeper of all time?

10:00

Morgan also scored England’s fastest-ever half-century in one-day cricket

After such a strong first campaign at Tottenham Hotspur, the 22-year-old looked nervy during his country’s World Cup opener

Yesterday, 21:49

Jack Wilshere has confirmed he is to leave Arsenal when his contract expires at the end of June.

Yesterday, 20:58

Read German football expert and Arsenal writer Rosie Tudball on the German reaction to Bernd Leno’s departure from Bundelsiga side Bayer Leverkusen.

Yesterday, 20:41

Arsenal have landed Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen. Read on for ten facts you may not know about the Gunners new goalkepeer.

PROMOTED CONTENT

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

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now