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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.
|Saturday 16th May|
|Exeter 44 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Leicester Tigers 22 - 14 Northampton|
|Newcastle Falcons 37 - 21 Harlequins|
|Bath 50 - 30 Gloucester|
|London Welsh 17 - 68 Saracens|
|London Irish 40 - 40 Wasps|
|Sunday 10th May|
|Saracens 20 - 24 Exeter|
|Saturday 9th May|
|Northampton 46 - 0 London Welsh|
|Wasps 21 - 26 Leicester Tigers|
|Gloucester 35 - 13 London Irish|
|Sale Sharks 34 - 28 Newcastle Falcons|
|Friday 8th May|
|Harlequins 26 - 27 Bath|
|Sunday 26th April|
|Wasps 36 - 29 Exeter|
|Saturday 25th April|
|Northampton 25 - 20 Saracens|
|Gloucester 42 - 40 Newcastle Falcons|
|Leicester Tigers 38 - 17 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 23 - 25 Harlequins|
|Friday 24th April|
|Bath 43 - 18 London Irish|
|Sunday 12th April|
|London Irish 25 - 23 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 13 - 40 Wasps|
|Exeter 21 - 10 Northampton|
|Saturday 11th April|
|Saracens 22 - 6 Leicester Tigers|
|Harlequins 29 - 26 Gloucester|
|Friday 10th April|
|Newcastle Falcons 19 - 29 Bath|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com