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McCall happy with tough win
Worcester came to scrap... credit to them, says Sarries boss
They had 14 men in defence with one behind, and while we played some good rugby during the first half, we found them very difficult to break down."
Quotes of the week
Saracens rugby director Mark McCall praised Worcester after his side were made to fight hard for their 18-6 victory over the Premiership newcomers on Saturday.
McCall said he had been frustrated by the defending champions' struggles before second half tries from David Strettle and Brad Barritt sealed the win.
"It's frustrating," he said. "Because Worcester came down here to scrap and fight, and credit to them.
"But they had 14 men in defence with one behind, and while we played some good rugby during the first half, we found them very difficult to break down."
Charlie Hodgson added eight points with the boot but missed a further three penalty attempts on his first start since arriving from Sale over the summer.
McCall insisted the former England fly-half was settling well at the club but would take time to adapt to a different style.
"I thought Charlie Hodgson did very well on his first start," he continued. "Especially when you consider that he had no pre-season with us.
"It takes a little while for a new player to get used to a team's style and Charlie is settling in very quickly."
Worcester boss Richard Hill said his side's performance had been their finest of the season but was frustrated that they had not come away with at least a losing bonus point.
The Warriors rugby director insisted that Barritt's try should have been disallowed after the Sarries centre appeared to be brought down short of the line.
Hill said he was disappointed that referee Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts had not referred the decision to the television match official.
"That was our best performance of the season so far, more physicality and commitment, and clearly the benchmark for the rest of the season." Hill said.
"We did not perform the way you need to in the Premiership at Gloucester last week but this was a big improvement.
"We are disappointed with the decision to award Saracens their second try because it wasn't a try.
"The players are hugely disappointed because they felt Barritt hadn't made the line and wanted the referee to at least consult the television match official. But you play to the whistle and you get on with it.
"But for that we could have taken home a losing bonus point. But I was very pleased with our defence, and had we just managed the final pass on occasions we could have put more points on the board.
"If you don't look like scoring then you become concerned. But we are creating chances and you know that sooner rather than later you will begin taking them.
"I am pleased with the work-rate. But we are conceding too many penalties. When you are away from home, particularly at the big clubs, you have to be whiter than white because home crowds get onto officials quickly at the slightest offence that they spot."
There was concern for key Saracens forward Schalk Brits, who was stretchered off in a neck brace after receiving lengthy treatment on the field shortly after half time.
But McCall said that the influential hooker had not suffered serious damage and would make a full recovery.
"Schalk Brits took a bang to the head," he said. " He has a stiff neck, but he's up and about. We are pleased that he's recovered quickly."
Asked whether he agreed with Worcester's assertion that Barritt had not scored McCall said: "I didn 't see that, but it was awarded by the referee and we get the points."
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|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle Falcons vs Leicester Tigers|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 26th April|
|14:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Saturday 9th May|
|14:00||Sale vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Wasps 32 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Exeter 16 - 6 Bath|
|Saracens 22 - 17 Newcastle Falcons|
|Leicester Tigers 28 - 8 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 12 - 50 London Irish|
|Friday 27th February|
|Northampton 17 - 13 Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com