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Aviva Premiership: Mark McCall hails table-topping Saracens
It is a big achievement as Saracens have always struggled for consistency.
Quotes of the week
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall hailed a "big achievement" for his side after they topped the regular season standings for the first time.
A hard-earned 23-14 victory over Bath at Allianz Park on the last day of the regular season left Saracens three points clear of Leicester in the final table.
McCall said: "It is a big achievement as Saracens have always struggled for consistency.
"However, it's now our fourth consecutive semi-final and the first time that we have finished top at the end of a regular season."
Saracens, looking to bounce back from the disappointment of their Heineken Cup semi-final defeat to Toulon, were nowhere near their best, playing only in fits and starts, but still did enough to gain a home semi-final against Northampton next weekend.
"We were a bit mixed and weren't precise enough," added McCall.
"We were very good in the first 20 minutes and had Mako Vunipola's pass to Chris Ashton not been judged to be forward it would have been a more relaxing afternoon for us.
"We have to give credit to Bath for they made it difficult for us but I am thrilled how well we have come back from last Sunday's defeat by Toulon."
Bath assistant coach Mike Ford admitted that finishing seventh in the table and not qualifying for the Heineken Cup was a blow.
"It all came down to this final game but we let points slip against sides below us," he said.
"It's not all despondency though as we believe we have recruited well for next season bringing in some good young English talent.
"We are aiming to get the culture right at the club, it is not quite right at present but hopefully our efforts will come to fruition for next season."Aviva Premiership. Click here to bet.
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|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 vs Leicester|
|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|
|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|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com