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Match Reaction: Saracens 22 London Irish 6

It was a case of an opportunity missed for Saracens in their Aviva Premiership Rugby victory over London Irish at Allianz Park, according to director of rugby Mark McCall.

Sarries took an 11-point lead in at the break despite playing into the wind but saw that advantage whittled down to six just seven minutes after the restart.

It mattered little in the end as the boot of Farrell restored the gap and Strettle crossed over for his second of the match with just shy of 20 minutes left on the clock.

It looked like Sarries might press for the bonus point but, despite promising field position, they were unable to add to their tally – much to the frustration of McCall.

“It was difficult in the first half because we were going into strong wind and it was wet,” he said.

“But we did a good job in the first half and I’m maybe a little bit disappointed that we couldn’t kick on at the end of the game.

“We were in a good position but we lacked a bit of composure in their 22.

“We have an opportunity with 15 minutes to go to kick on and get two tries for the bonus point.

“So it’s disappointing because I think we had the field position to do that- its points lost in a way.”

The Exiles started the match strongly and more than held their own against the hosts – Topsy Ojo looking lively early on and Tom Homer missing the chance to give Irish the lead.

However, their good work at the start of both periods was undone by a ruthless Saracens side and boss Brian Smith admitted that he had no complaints.

“I thought our pack did quite well but we switched off a little bit before half time,” he said.

“I challenged the boys at half time and I thought the second half we squared things away.

“We conceded two pretty soft tries down the edge. Both down the left edge which is disappointing.

“But they’re a good outfit and I don’t think we lost too much momentum. It was a fair effort and obviously we are disappointed with the result.

“I don’t think we were denied a win today but if we were at the races we might have been able to squeeze a bonus point out of it.

“We just have to dust ourselves off and go again; we‘ve got a really good group and I wouldn’t trade them for anyone.”

Saracens: Ransom (Mordt 76), Wyles, Tompkins (Streather 68), Taylor, Strettle, Farrell, de Kock (Spencer 65), Vunipola B, Burger (Brown 54), Wray, Hargreaves (Itoje 62), Kruis, Du Plessis (Johnston 65), George (Sharman 65), Vunipola M (Barrington 65)
 
London Irish: Homer, Ojo (Fenby 78), Mulchrone, Sheridan, Lewington, Geraghty (Dorrian 80), Steele (O’Leary 59), Treviranus, Gilsenan, Low (Guest 62), Rouse (Cox 72), Skivington, Cross (Aulika 50), Allen, Court (Halavatau 62)
 
Not used: Palframan
 
Saracens
 
Tries: Strettle 2
Penalties: Farrell 4
 
London Irish
 
Penalties: Homer 2
 
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Attendance: 9306

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