Venter savours Sarries victory
December 17, 2010
Saracens' Richard Wigglesworth and Racing Metro's Juan Pablo Orlandi vie for the ball © Getty Images
Brendan Venter hailed his Saracens side's attitude and adaptability as they restored some pride in their Heineken Cup campaign with a 19-14 win away to Racing Metro in snowy Paris.
The Watford-based club had lost all three matches in Pool 2 heading into tonight's match and have no realistic chance of reaching the knockout stages. But Owen Farrell was the key man as they took a 16-0 lead into half-time, kicking two penalties, a drop goal and a conversion while also setting up Brad Barritt's try. A second-half fightback saw Racing nearly overhaul that lead but the English side were able to hold on.
Director of rugby Venter told Sky Sports 3, "We played really well last week as well but they just beat us in the end (24-21). It was a great first-half performance and tactically we weren't as sharp in the second half as we could have been but it's a great win for us. It was about who could play the conditions best, that was the main thing, and in the first half we were really good at that. We gave them two soft tries in the second half but the guys did brilliantly to keep going."
Venter, who will be stepping down from his role in the New Year, insisted he had little difficulty motivating his side. "We just play to win every game, that's how we function at Saracens," he said. "So it's not about winning competitions. Those things will take care of themselves, we just want to win every game."
As for their campaign as a whole, he added, "What's done is done. We've got an awesome side, they were magnificent today. The kids are playing brilliantly, people like David Strettle, who is on fire, Bradley Barritt, who is playing really well. So there's no frustration."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength