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McCall praises Saracens for showing character to come from behind to tame Wolves

PUBLISHED: 18:55 29 December 2018 | UPDATED: 18:55 29 December 2018

Saracens David Strettle charges through to score a try during the Gallagher Premiership match at Allianz Park (pic Mark Pain/PA)

Saracens David Strettle charges through to score a try during the Gallagher Premiership match at Allianz Park (pic Mark Pain/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Mark McCall hailed his Saracens side for coming through a much-needed test as they turned things around to beat Worcester 25-17 at Allianz Park.

Saracens Sean Maitland gets a backwards pass away over his head under the challenge of Worcester Warriors Marco Mama during the Gallagher Premiership match at Allianz Park (pic Mark Pain/PA)Saracens Sean Maitland gets a backwards pass away over his head under the challenge of Worcester Warriors Marco Mama during the Gallagher Premiership match at Allianz Park (pic Mark Pain/PA)

After suffering their first defeat of the season last time out at the hands of Gallagher Premiership leaders Exeter, Saracens started slowly on home turf and shipped two tries in the opening quarter of an hour.

But a stern word at half-time saw the Londoners right as scores from Calum Clark and David Strettle salvaged the win that sees them gain ground on the Chiefs at the league’s summit.

McCall’s attention was on matters at hand, though, and a challenge that he saw his side pass. “Having lost last weekend, not playing great, to be 14-0 down – it’s a good test and I think we came through the test very well,” he said.

“Today was just one of those things – the more important thing for me is how we responded. I felt that we were then the dominant team for the next 60 minutes or so, had a lot of ball, a lot of field position.

Saracens Owen Farrell tries to evade the tackle of Worcester Warriors Ethan Waller during the Gallagher Premiership match at Allianz Park (pic Mark Pain/PA)Saracens Owen Farrell tries to evade the tackle of Worcester Warriors Ethan Waller during the Gallagher Premiership match at Allianz Park (pic Mark Pain/PA)

“The first try is just one of those things that can happen when the ball is deemed to be out of the ruck. The second was a first phase move which we didn’t defend well enough, but again that was a test that we needed.

“Overall it was a good team response to a situation which we weren’t expecting to find ourselves in.

“The league is tough – all the teams are good. Worcester have got some great players, they’re really well organised and they defended fantastically well and we’re glad to come through the challenge.”

The win sees Saracens capitalise on Exeter’s shock defeat at Northampton, with the Londoners now just a point off the leaders in lieu of a bonus point against the Warriors.

Mako Vunipola grabbed Saracens’ first try after Duncan Weir and the returning Ben Te’o had given Worcester an early lead, before Clark and Strettle turned things round after the break.

And despite a tough second-half showing, Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons knows they can take the positives from an impressive performance.

He said: “It was very important for us to come out and play with character. The first half we played really well and we had some ball and scored two tries. In the second half we made a few mistakes and we were punished for them.

“I think the important point was the character that the side showed throughout that game. I thought the lads did really well – I was very proud of them.”

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