Saracens coach Alex Sanderson faces a sticky situation after promising to give away free puddings
PUBLISHED: 10:28 24 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:28 24 January 2017
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Saracens' forwards and defence coach Alex Sanderson fears a pre-match promise could now prove costly after the Hendon-based club completed the double over Toulon in their final European pool match.
The 37-year-old’s mother runs Sanderson’s Puddings and does a good trade selling sweet treats from a converted caravan outside the west stand of Allianz Park on matchdays.
But she may now have to hand out a number of freebies following the weekend’s 10-3 triumph, as Saracens beat three-time European champions Toulon for the second time this season and secured home advantage in their quarter-final clash against Glasgow Warriors.
“Toulon get a lot of energy from their attack and we knew they had some magic-makers in the team and some massive ball carriers, so we had a big focus on winning the collisions against these big ball carriers,” Sanderson told Ham&High Sport.
“I promised all the lads that anyone who made a dominant hit on one of the big carriers would get a free sticky toffee pudding - so I’ve put my mum out of business!
“In terms of effort, desperation and will to win - and most of the things that characterise a good team - it was epic.
“It was one of the best performances we’ve had at Saracens, given some of the injuries we’ve had. The young players stepped up and filled some pretty big shoes.
“I was massively impressed with Nick Tompkins, and Richard Barrington and Jackson Wray. They’re all guys who have been waiting in the wings behind some seasoned internationals.
“To get the lads up emotionally for playing the three-time champions was no mean feat off the back of some really tough weeks. Leicester away, we scrapped for that. We had 14 men against Exeter and we scrapped for that - and to get the draw at the death [at Scarlets], we had to scrap for that too.
“Given the form and injuries we’ve had in the last few weeks, we’re very happ for weekly Saracens coveragey we’re getting a home quarter-final.”
Saracens will welcome Glasgow Warriors to Allianz Park in the Champions Cup quarter-finals at the start of April – and they have won their last 12 home games in Europe.
“When we’ve got everyone back and we’ve got a full squad to pick from, obviously we’re going to have a stronger team come the quarters and everyone will be back by then,” said Sanderson. “You’re always looking to go all the way but we look forward to the quarters.
“Our next focus is the Six Nations period. The majority of this side are going to be involved during that period and [this performance] gives us a bigger confidence boost that we can keep pushing on in the Premiership for that five or six weeks.”
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