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McCall relieved with win

Sarries boss glad to get points on the board

Last updated: 30th September 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

McCall relieved with win

Mark McCall: Relieved to get back on winning trail

We talked about ourselves and what we're about as a club but we've found ourselves today.

Mark McCall
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Mark McCall admitted he was relieved to see Saracens get back to winning form with victory at Harlequins.

Owen Farrell out-kicked opposite number Nick Evans as Sarries won 18-16 to hand the champions their first defeat of the campaign.

And the team's director of rugby said the team had passed their first gut-check of the season.

"It's a big relief. In the last couple of weeks we have lost ourselves a bit," he said. "We talked about ourselves and what we're about as a club but we've found ourselves today."

McCall insisted he never had any worries about his young marksman, who started at the expense of Charlie Hodgson.

"Owen came into this match under a little bit of pressure from you guys but he's an international player so there were no worries there."

No excuse

Farrell, whose goalkicking practice had been restricted by a recent groin injury, said: "I'm not concerned about it at all. I hadn't practised anywhere near as much as I wanted to.

"That isn't an excuse but I stuck to what I knew and going into this one I'd been kicking well in training.

"We've a brilliant kicking coach in Dan Vickers and we've made little changes but I'm still kicking basically the same.

"We were back to where we play as a team, with the intensity we showed. We put things right today.

"The main thing for us was to get back playing for each other. It never really went away - we just needed a little reminder."

No blame

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea refused to blame misfiring goalkicker Nick Evans for his side's defeat.

The former New Zealand fly-half missed four penalties, including three fairly straightforward second-half shots, any one of which could have extended Quins' 100 per cent start to the season.

"Of course it would have been completely different but he's won a million games for us and hopefully he'll win a lot more. He's an outstanding player.

"We gave them six penalties and they kicked six penalties. We weren't up to the levels we want to be.

"It became the game they wanted in terms of flow but that's a credit to them. We're disappointed to lose but it's a long, long season.

"We should have won that game but we didn't. We didn't take our opportunities. It wasn't a good game of rugby at all but it was tight.

"The big games are decided by very small margins and they didn't go our way this time. We never get carried away when we win, we're not going to get carried away when we lose."

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Friday 5th September
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14:00Sale vs Bath
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14:00London Welsh vs Exeter
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19:45Harlequins vs Saracens
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15:00Gloucester vs Sale
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14:00Wasps vs Northampton
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19:45Gloucester vs Exeter
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14:00Sale vs London Welsh
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19:45London Welsh vs Gloucester
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