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McCall has mixed feelings after Saracens loss at Munster

PUBLISHED: 11:00 08 December 2019

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall

PA Wire/PA Images

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said his feelings on their low-scoring European Champions Cup defeat at Munster were mixed.

The defending champions, minus the likes of England stars Owen Farrell and the Vunipola brothers, Billy and Mako, picked up a losing bonus point in the 10-3 defeat in difficult conditions.

Ben Spencer kicked one of three penalty attempts at Thomond Park as Munster captain Peter O'Mahony claimed the only try in the 30th minute to leave his side five points ahead of Saracens in the group, ahead of their return meeting at Allianz Park next weekend.

And McCall said: "A mix of being very pleased with a lot of things, the effort, the togetherness we showed, the ability to bounce back from a number of things that went wrong in the game, that was really good.

"A bit of frustration because having got ourselves into a situation where we had the elements in the second half and only a seven-point deficit, it is probably something we will look back on and be frustrated that we could not have done better in the second half."

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McCall felt the losing bonus point keeps the title holders in the mix for qualification from the group, despite suffering their second away defeat of the pool stages.

"It is probably out of our hands to a degree," he added.

"We need to win next week. We do know Munster have a tough game away to Racing in round five. There is definitely hope, but next week is huge for us and we've got to win next week."

Munster head coach Johann van Graan, asked if he was disappointed Saracens had managed to take a losing bonus point, said: "We will take a win against Saracens any day of the week. Right from the start we knew this pool was going to be tight.

"From our point of view we're still unbeaten in the group. An away win with a bonus point over the Ospreys, a home win against Saracens and a draw against Racing, so it is going to go right down to the wire.

"The only thing we can control is next week against Saracens again in London. I'm very glad about the win, very tough conditions in that last 50 minutes."

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