McCall pleased to see Saracens make mark
PUBLISHED: 11:30 17 September 2017
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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall praised his side for getting the job done against Newcastle in testing conditions in the United States.
Humidity impacted the game as a spectacle at Philadelphia’s Talen Energy Stadium, but a try from USA international Chris Wyles and 17 points from Owen Farrell helped seal a 29-7 success.
And McCall said: “The players have said that it felt like wet weather rugby, the humidity meant the ball was incredibly greasy, there were so many errors on both sides.
“Overall we’re pleased and frustrated at the same time because I think we dominated the game and controlled field position against a very good team and I thought they defended incredibly well.
“But we were dominant for long periods although we should have done a bit better with our attack. It was a professional job, well done.”
McCall reserved special praise for number eight Billy Vunipola after he impressed in what was his first appearance of the season.
“I think he played very well considering he hasn’t played for four months or whatever, he was tremendous,” he added.
“He was tired at the end but all of those players who haven’t played for a while will be better for that game.
“He did well, made some great breaks and carries and he defended well as well. Overall he’ll be miles better week on week.”
Newcastle Falcons boss Dean Richards was left frustrated by referee JP Doyle after his side conceded a penalty try on the way to their first reverse of the Premiership campaign.
He said: “There was a lot of endeavour but we lacked a bit of accuracy at times and I don’t think we got the rub of the green from the referee.
“But sometimes you have got to earn the right with the referee. There were little things like Niki Goneva’s deliberate knock on that came off his face.
“You would probably expect them to go to the TMO as it was a clear knock on from his face rather than his hands and that can cost you dear if we’re trying to get back into the game and get a match point.
“Little things like the review of the kick that went wide but was given by the touch judges, that can really, really count against you later on in the year.
“I was disappointed with his accuracy but you’ve got to earn the right to get these decision and we’re not quite there yet.
“You look at some of the Saracens boys who seem to be able to get away with a lot more than we do and that’s just purely down to who they are and where they are. But we’ll get there.”