McCall gutted to see young Saracens side lose late on at Worcester
PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 May 2019
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Second-string Sarries squad beaten by late penalty at Warriors
Mark McCall was disappointed to see Saracens lose late on at Worcester Warriors, but feels there were enough positives to take from the Gallagher Premiership clash.
A second-string Sarries had looked likely winners after Tom Whiteley kicked five penalties and converted two tries scored by Nick Tompkins and Marcelo Bosch.
Worcester outscored their opponents 4-2 in tries in this Gallagher Premiership contest.
Michael Fatialofa, Chris Pennell, Ted Hill and Josh Adams all crossed, with Weir converting all of them before adding his decisive penalty to secure a 31-29 win for the hosts.
Saracens director of rugby McCall said: "It was a very valuable exercise for the youngsters to play away in the Premiership, so to lose in that fashion was painful for them, but they will learn from it.
"We did a lot of good things to get into a winning position as we were much better in the second half.
"Despite not having our first-choice side, we expect to win these games as I believe we outplayed Worcester at times."
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McCall paid tribute to his young scrum-half Tom Whiteley, whose 19-point haul, looked to have secured victory.
The director of rugby added: "Tom was phenomenal today. His goal-kicking was exceptional and he looked after his young partner, (fly-half) Manu Vunipola, who has also showed some nice touches for a 19-year-old."
Next up for Saracens is a home semi-final against Gloucester next week as they seek a Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup double.
McCall said: "Gloucester have been great this season and have been the most improved side in the competition.
"They have threats all over the field and have two high class quality half-backs."
Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons commented: "It was a fantastic way to finish.
"When Duncan lost possession and they had a scrum, I thought the game had gone.
"However, we scrimmaged magnificently and full marks to Duncan for succeeding with a pressure kick.
"He's kicked and played well all season and you have to have a reliable goal-kicker.
"It was a pretty tight game which could have gone either way but we gifted them 10 points as we needed to be more patient."