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McCall wants more from Saracens

McCall wants more from Saracens

Saracens rugby director Mark McCall was less than excited by his team’s performance despite the fact the victory keeps them in second place and hot on the heels of reigning champions and Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders Leicester.

Given their territory and possession, Saracens should have been out of sight at the interval. But they took ages to build on a six minute try by James Short and when Alex Goode missed his third kick out of four at goal, Owen Farrell took over and kicked three goals and a conversion.

A late try by Jared Saunders settled the contest in which fly half Jimmy Gopperth kicked three goals for Newcastle.

McCall said: "That was very frustrating, a poor spectacle and I'm disappointed. We put more than 50 points on Newcastle in this fixture last season so give them credit for improvement with a number of young players on board.

"But we'll need to address the way we played during the week before taking on Bath at home next Sunday."

Newcastle boss Alan Tait seemed more cheerful in defeat than McCall was in victory. But he did reserve harsh words for his experienced number 8 Ally Hogg, whose sin-binning in the second half gave Saracens a crucial numerical edge.

"At 11-9 midway through the second half we were in with a shout," Tait said. "But if we are to go forward as a club we need to learn from what happened afterwards when we finished up without even a losing bonus point.

"Some of the boys gave their all. I asked them to make an impact and they did which is why, despite losing, I see reasons to be cheerful.

"We got no decisions at the scrum which is disappointing, but even more disappointing was Hogg's yellow card. He shook my hand afterwards, apologising, but I told him he owed the boys one.

"It was a really stupid act to grab the scrum half; it was needless and proved so costly at a crucial stage in the game reducing us to 14 men for a very costly period.

"I watched us really crumble here last year, but this group of lads dug really deep and although we are facing a real battle between now and the end of the season, their showing tremendous character."

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