Heineken Cup final: Brad Barritt believes Saracens are equipped to deal with Toulon
Last Updated: 22/05/14 11:00am
Brad Barritt knows Saracens must be at their most disciplined if they are to beat Toulon in the Heineken Cup final.
Toulon prevailed 24-12 when the sides met in the last four in 2013 with the French side going on to lift the European crown, but centre Barritt believes Saracens have learnt from that defeat.
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Mark McCall’s side are now just one step away from becoming the first English team in seven years to win the Heineken Cup and they also remain on course for a double, with a Premiership final against Northampton Saints at Twickenham the following week.
Toulon’s victory in their previous meeting came courtesy of seven penalties and a drop goal from former England No Jonny 10 Wilkinson and Barritt acknowledged Saracens’ role in their own downfall.
“When we look back at Toulon last season there was a lot of what we did in our own half that contributed to the defeat,” he told Sky Sports.
“All their points came through the boot of Jonny, a prolific kicker, who didn’t miss on the day.
“I think we were quite naive in some of the attacking options we took within our own half.
“The attitude towards the breakdown in the Heineken Cup, the higher the level you go in rugby the demands at the breakdown increase, and I think there were a few times we were a little bit loose there.”
Saturday’s showpiece event will see Wilkinson make his final appearance on the European stage, but England international Barritt is adamant Saracens will not bow to sentiment.
“Everyone in rugby knows what a phenomenon Jonny is,” he admitted.
“He’s a world-class player and a living legend of the game, I think everything he’s achieved in rugby and the respect he commands throughout the game is something to behold.
“Obviously it’s disappointing to see a man retiring but he’s at the top of the game and hopefully going out as a losing finalist in the Heineken Cup is a fitting end.”