Hamilton underlines importance of Saracens’ leadership after victory over Gloucester

Saracens' Jim Hamilton on the attack. Picture: PA

Saracens' Jim Hamilton on the attack. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Jim Hamilton believes the strength of the leadership at Saracens was a key factor as the Premiership pacesetters produced a disciplined display to beat Gloucester at Allianz Park on Sunday.

The Hendon-based club had to come from behind but they triumphed 24-20 against a side that defeated them in round one of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

“With the quality of the leadership we can grind out the wins and we’re still getting the results, like the fantastic win against Sale last week,” the lock forward told Ham&High Sport.

“Obviously discipline was poor against Sale. It was the most penalties we’d given away all season – it was a big factor, especially in tight matches when it goes either way, and [against Gloucester] it was better.

“Let’s not disregard how big a win that was for us – it was huge. Gloucester have been playing really well all season and it could have gone either way. I think our set piece towards the end might have been the difference.

“It shows the quality we’ve got in the squad and we knew if we stuck to our guns we’d come away with it.”

Saracens have a four-point cushion over second-placed Wasps as they prepare to visit Bath, who lie third in the table and have won all four of their Premiership home games this season.

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“Bath are going really well and we’ve had some awesome games against them before – notably the final we played a couple of years ago,” said Hamilton. “Every time we’ve gone there they’ve been tough games. Our defence has got be good away from home but against Bath you’ve got to be good in all areas.

“Under Todd Blackadder they’re a completely different team to what they were last year. They’ve lost a couple of key players and we’re losing the backbone of our team to England, but we’ll prepare exactly the same.

“We’ll go away and have a look at where we can improve but we’ve probably got to be 20 per cent better than we were against Gloucester.”

Saracens will be without Billy Vunipola for a substantial part of the season after the number eight suffered torn knee cartilage in England’s victory over Argentina on Saturday.

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