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Venter hails team spirit
Saracens chief satisfied as Londoners maintain perfect start
Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter hailed his side's team spirit as they maintained their perfect start to the season with a 22-15 triumph at Newcastle.
Venter conceded his side was some way from their best and were somewhat fortunate to outscore their opponents by three tries to nil, but was delighted they still managed to grind out victory.
Tries from wings Richard Haughton and Chris Wyles and another from Derick Hougaard - who also kicked seven points - saw Sarries home and Venter, who was quick to praise Newcastle, praised his players for their work ethic.
"Newcastle played really well today, they attacked with shape and got a lot of quick ball," he stated. "I thought three tries to nil was not a fair reflection of the game.
"We didn't play well as individuals but we played well as a team. That is what bailed us out today. Some of our real stars were not on fire and there were little mistakes with the ball going down.
"For me as a coach, the most rewarding thing was we can go out there and do that when we are not playing well."
Venter also addressed the booing of his side by a section of their home supporters last week and insisted he was not worried by the incident.
"We want to create a culture that will remain after we have all gone," he continued. "Part of the culture is being positive and seeing things in a positive light.
"Those people that booed, we will bring them with us so I am not even worried about it at all.
"It's just great to have a CEO behind me who says, 'look, don't worry about that, we'll just get on with it'."
The South African went on to deliver an update on the fitness of England captain Steve Borthwick, who sustained a nasty eye injury against Gloucester last week, and revealed he would return for the clash with Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon in the second round of Amlin Challenge Cup pool games on October 15.
"He will be ready for Toulon but I will give him a week's break against Rovigo next week," he added.
"From an England point of view, it will mean he is nice and fresh when they start playing again. This week was an automatic week off but I want to give him one more week."
Bates sees the positives
Newcastle director of rugby Steve Bates acknowledged that his team had been beaten by the better side but was encouraged by the performance of his charges.
"I am disappointed but I thought the better side won the game," he declared. "They squeezed us very well, they have a lot of experience in their side.
"We played really well in the first half but we were working really, really hard and they were more successful at putting us under pressure than we were putting them under pressure.
"We were territorially pinned in our half of the field and we did fantastically well to keep them out."
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|Friday 14th November|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Harlequins|
|19:45||Northampton vs Exeter|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|17:00||Bath vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 16th November|
|13:00||Leicester vs Saracens|
|15:15||Wasps vs London Welsh|
|Friday 21st November|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Sale|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|15:00||London Irish vs Bath|
|15:00||Exeter vs Wasps|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|13:00||Saracens vs Northampton|
|15:15||London Welsh vs Leicester|
|Friday 28th November|
|19:45||Bath vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 29th November|
|15:00||Leicester vs Wasps|
|16:30||Exeter vs Saracens|
|Sunday 30th November|
|13:00||London Irish vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Northampton|
|15:15||Newcastle vs Sale|
|Saturday 20th December|
|14:00||Sale vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Bath|
|15:00||Northampton vs Leicester|
|15:00||Saracens vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 21st December|
|14:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|Friday 26th December|
|15:00||London Irish vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 12th October|
|Wasps 29 - 22 Bath|
|Saturday 11th October|
|Northampton 43 - 10 Sale Sharks|
|Saracens 28 - 21 Gloucester|
|Exeter 44 - 24 London Irish|
|London Welsh 3 - 23 Newcastle|
|Friday 10th October|
|Leicester 22 - 16 Harlequins|
|Sunday 5th October|
|Newcastle 29 - 24 Exeter|
|Sale 25 - 14 Wasps|
|Saturday 4th October|
|Gloucester 33 - 16 Leicester|
|Harlequins 52 - 0 London Welsh|
|London Irish 12 - 19 Northampton|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Bath 21 - 11 Saracens|
|Sunday 28th September|
|Wasps 35 - 18 Newcastle|
|Exeter 36 - 13 Harlequins|
|Saturday 27th September|
|Northampton 31 - 24 Bath|
|Leicester 19 - 22 London Irish|
|Saracens 40 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 26th September|
|London Welsh 10 - 46 Gloucester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|Newcastle 10 - 35 Northampton|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Bath 45 - 0 Leicester|
|Harlequins 26 - 23 Wasps|
|London Irish 32 - 36 Saracens|
|Sale 46 - 8 London Welsh|
|Friday 19th September|
|Gloucester 22 - 25 Exeter|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com