Winter’s tough on the wing but Saracens star Strettle’s pleased with brace against London Irish
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
EXCLUSIVE: David Strettle admits the winter months can be tough on the wing, so he was pleased to make the most of his limited opportunities and touch down twice against London Irish on Saturday.
Like the 9,306 spectators, the 31-year-old spent much of a cold, wet afternoon watching a contest between the kickers and the forwards – but he went over the line in both halves to score the only tries of the match.
With Owen Farrell also kicking four penalties, Sarries triumphed 22-6 at Allianz Park in Hendon, and Strettle was happy to have made an impact.
“Those are the days when you sometimes think you’re not going to get much ball, but I was very lucky to get some good passes and get two tries,” said Strettle. “Sometimes it comes your way, sometimes it doesn’t, but Wylesy [Chris Wyles] on the other wing didn’t get much ball so I think I was the lucky one.
“It’s no surprise that wingers score more tries in the summer and at the end of the season, because the ball’s being thrown out a bit more. But the points count the same, whether it’s the winter or the summer, so you’ve just got to make sure you do the things that are really important in bad conditions, like your defensive kick chase.
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“The top teams finish the few chances they get, and that’s what separates you. We’ve always struggled against London Irish, they’ve always had a good kicking game, so it’s something which we really worked on. But we knew that when we got a chance we had to take it and luckily we did that.”
Strettle is off to a good start in 2015, having previously failed to score in the Premiership since the opening day of the season, but the start of a new calendar year means little to him.
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He said: “To be honest I’m not that fussed when I dot down as long as I dot down. It’s great.
“It was cold out there for the first 20 minutes. I think we were kind of testing each other out, the two teams. They had the wind behind them but our defence was superb, the same with the set piece, and when we did get the ball we did the right thing at the right time – Owen Farrell was superb.
“Billy [Vunipola] deserved to get the man of the award too, he’s been superb for the last couple of weeks. He’s got a point to prove and he’s proving it well.”
Saracens have now won their last five games in all competitions, leaving them four points behind second-placed Bath – who lost at Leicester - and 10 points behind league leaders Northampton in the Premiership.
“It’s not usually about momentum, it’s more about confidence,” said Strettle. “You can play really well and lose but you can still take a lot from it – and vice versa. You can sometimes get a win and not play too well. But we know we’re on the right track.
“In the last couple of years we’ve played really well and dominated the league and slipped up at the end.
“I think it’s a tougher league this year. Teams like Bath and Northampton are really settling nicely so it’s just a case of making sure that you know you’re going with them, and come the end of the season you’ve got your home semi-final, and then you go from there.”