McCall: Mixed bag for Saracens

Saracens Alex Goode is tackled by Worcester Warriors Jonny Arr (pic David Davies/PA)

Saracens Alex Goode is tackled by Worcester Warriors Jonny Arr (pic David Davies/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Saracens head coach Mark McCall was critical of his side’s performance as they struggled to overcome battling Worcester at Sixways.

Saracens were fortunate to be leading 13-3 at half-time as the Warriors dominated a large part of the first half but the introduction of a strong bench ensured the visitors eventually ran out comfortable 25-3 winners.

Chris Wyles scored two tries for Saracens with Alex Goode adding the other and Alex Lozowki kicked two penalties and a conversion, with Owen Farrell also converting a try.

McCall said: “It was a bit of a mixed bag as we started the game well and scored an excellent try, but we then spent the next 30 minutes defending.

“We made some individual mistakes and the boys are frustrated as we weren’t good enough to capitalise on all our possession in the second half.

“Credit to them for battling hard and making it difficult for us, but we didn’t complete the job and left a bonus point out there.

“We are pleased with our defence as it was very good, but our attack was very ordinary.”

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A penalty from Jamie Shillcock was Worcester’s only contribution to the scoreboard as the Warriors failed to take advantage of their first-half territorial dominance.

The hosts battered the opposition line but lacked the creativity and accuracy to turn it to their advantage - a fact which head coach Gary Gold recognised.

He said: “Again we made a bad start and were on the back foot early doors.

“However, we made seven entries into their 22 in the first half, but came away with nothing as we are not scoring enough tries, especially when we scored 56 last year.

“We only had one entry in the second half as they showed they are not European champions for nothing as they play with real intensity.

“They put us under huge pressure when they defend, but we didn’t roll over as we’ve got the basis of a team who has fight and spirit.

“We showed plenty of courage and never gave up, but we made critical errors at critical times and I’m not sure whether it’s a confidence thing or not.”

Next up for Worcester is an away game at Bath, their remaining fixture in an opening batch of six matches, having picked up only one point in losing the first five.

Gold added: “We knew it would be tough but there are no gimmes in this competition. We hope to have Francis Hougaard back next week but it will depend on a fitness test.

“We are not far away but we just need to get some of our leading players back out there and then get a bit of luck.”