McCall hails second-half display
May 5, 2012
Saracens' Richard Wigglesworth shows his strength © Getty Images
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall praise his side`s second-half performance after they saw off Exeter 40-22.
The title hopefuls had trailed 10-9 at the interval, but turned on the style after the break to snuff out their opponent`s hopes.
Assessing the performance, McCall said: "We were superb in the second half but the first half was very tough. We made a few errors, Exeter are a very good team and targeted this match. They took a bit of wearing down, it took some time but I'm very pleased."
After Exeter's impressive first-half display, coach Rob Baxter blamed himself for the second-period implosion.
"It was a management issue," he admitted. "I thought we missed opportunities in the first half and I told them at half-time to play a bit more. That was the wrong decision, we would have been better off kicking badly as we tried to create a bit more space, and we effectively played into their hands."
Exeter conceded two tries in the first seven minutes after the restart with a loose kick from Bryan Rennie falling sweetly to James Short who ran 80 metres for the turning-point try. Baxter added: "That first try was unfortunate and it really hurt us."
Exeter continued to battle hard, though, and scored two late tries to give the score some respectability.
"We played to the end, it was a high energy performance and we are disappointed not to have collected a bonus point," Baxter said. "It was only this game and the one against Northampton that we have failed to take anything this season."
Saracens now face a tough task at Leicester in the play-off semi-final next weekend. "Leicester are in really good form over the past two to three months," McCall said. "We have had some great contests with them recently and this will be another one."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"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
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen