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Brown admits Saracens’ rock-hard strategy paid off

Saracens flanker Kelly Brown admits following the mantra of an American basketball side held the key to overcoming their Aviva Premiership Rugby final hoodoo this season.

Saracens lifted the Premiership trophy on May 30, after overcoming a dangerous Bath Rugby side 28-16 at Twickenham thanks to a first-half onslaught and an inspired Owen Farrell kicking display.

It was their first title since 2011, and having fallen at the final hurdle last season against arch-rivals Northampton Saints, Brown concedes the pressure was on to get the job done this time around.

But the Scottish veteran revealed Mark McCall’s men were inspired by the San Antonio Spurs, who bounced back from defeat in 2013 to become NBA Champions last year.

“All season at Saracens we were pounding the rock,” said Brown. “That’s the analogy used by the Spurs.

“The story goes that there is a stonecutter hammering away at a piece of rock, but no matter how hard he tried it won’t crack.

“But on the 101st hit it finally does. It’s not that blow that has done it, it is the hundred that came before, and so we just kept saying if we kept on pounding that rock it would break.

“Fortunately it did this season, and it was a really satisfying victory. Not inside the squad, but outside of it a lot of people were starting to question us.

“This year things didn’t always go our way, and we ended up having to beat London Welsh well in round 22 to make sure we qualified for the semi-finals.

“That almost left us in a better place as we had our backs against the wall and managed to peak at just the right time.

“So it was fantastic to win, but as a side we are looking to keep on moving forward and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

Brown was speaking on Sunday at the Land Rover Rugby Trophy Tour event at Highland RFC in Inverness.

Land Rover are a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2015 and – along with recruiting all 96 official mascots for Rugby World Cup 2015 as part of its We Deal In Real campaign – the Trophy Tour will travel through the UK and Ireland before arriving at Twickenham Stadium on 18 September ahead of the opening ceremony.

The 100-day journey will engage fans at over 100 grassroots and elite rugby clubs, and give them the opportunity to get a close-up view of the Webb Ellis Cup and build unforgettable memories as part of their own Rugby World Cup 2015 story.

And former Scotland skipper Brown hopes the tour could inspire the next generation of home nations’ international rugby stars.

He added: “It’s been a great morning and it’s fantastic to see all these kids getting so excited about rugby.

“I’ve been involved in some of the coaching sessions, and been encouraging the kids to get involved with their auditions to be Land Rover mascots for the World Cup.

“It’s amazing to see the excitement that the World Cup is already generating, and there are a lot of kids here who will have heard about the World Cup but haven’t experienced one yet.

“To actually see the trophy here has definitely given them a real buzz and hopefully can inspire lots of them to keep on playing rugby and maybe one day be competing for Scotland.”
 

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