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.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

41 minutes ago

Fight to take place in Cardiff on March 31

Velocity Trophy quarter-final: Wingate & Finchley 0 Billericay Town 1

08:34

Middlesex Senior Cup quarter-finals: Hendon 9 (White 9, 26, 52, 88, 90, Nathaniel-George 19, 49, 69, Gordon 70) Spelthorne Sports 1 (Saleh 21)

Yesterday, 16:00

Herts/Middlesex One: Hendon 10 Barnet Elizabethans 17

Yesterday, 15:00

The South Korean is playing like a superstar right now - the Spurs crowd were on their feet every time he touched the ball on Saturday

Yesterday, 14:00

Sarries players Sean Maitland and Duncan Taylor also named in Scotland squad

Yesterday, 13:00

Sutton United manager Paul Doswell had plenty of praise for Hendon after their 3-0 victory in the second round of the FA Trophy.

Yesterday, 12:36

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is set to sign for Everton in a deal understood to be worth around £20 million.

PROMOTED CONTENT

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

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now