Home team Away Team

Saracens

  • Brits, Fraser,
    Penalty goals: Farrell (5),
    Conversions: Farrell,
27 - 12

Harlequins


  • Penalty goals: Evans (4),

Mark McCall hails his England stars after thumping win over Harlequins

Last updated: 25th March 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Mark McCall hails his England stars after thumping win over Harlequins

Mark McCall: Praise for international contingent

I've got to take my hat off to our English guys who had a difficult weekend last weekend . All of them, to a man, wanted to play today.

Mark McCall
Quotes of the week

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Gallery

Teams

Also see

Saracens boss Mark McCall praised his England stars after their superb performances in the 27-12 victory over Harlequins.

Owen Farrell contributed 17 points, while Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt and man-of-the-match Mako Vunipola all bounced back from their Six Nations disappointment in some style.

The victory puts Sarries five points clear at the top ahead of Leicester, and eight ahead of Quins in third.

"I've got to take my hat off to our English guys who had a difficult weekend last weekend . All of them, to a man, wanted to play today," said director of rugby McCall.

"It says a lot about the environment and the general group that they are so keen to come back and enjoy it so much - but some of our non-internationals were pretty good today as well."

McCall picked out Ashton, who is under pressure after some below-par performances for England.

He said: "Chris had a really top game and got himself involved, for a guy who has taken his criticism over the last few weeks.

"Two years ago we thought Chris Ashton was the best player in the world and he just needs to have the confidence that his coaches believe in him."

McCall also had words of praise for the way man-of-the-match Vunipola for his battling effort against scrum machine James Johnston, who is joining Saracens from Quins in the summer.

Scrummage

"The best thing he did today was scrummage against James Johnston. For a young prop, with only 12 months in the Premiership behind him, we all know he can do incredibly special things in the loose but he knows what he does in the tight is very important and he did it well today," McCall said.

Conor O'Shea, the Harlequins director of rugby, admitted his team had been outplayed and outmuscled.

"Very disappointed," said O'Shea. "We made too many errors and turned the ball over without really building any phases.

"Physically we were beaten, which is irritating beyond belief. We always pride ourselves on saying results don't matter but performances do - and we didn't perform today.

"We'll learn our lesson but the championship isn't decided today. They were worthy winners but we didn't perform anywhere close to what we know we are capable of.

"What we have to make sure is we play the way we can. We didn't today and you credit that to Saracens - they were excellent - but we will see them again."

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 19th September
Aviva Premiership
19:45Gloucester vs Exeter
Saturday 20th September
14:00Sale vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Wasps
15:00London Irish vs Saracens
15:15Bath vs Leicester
Sunday 21st September
14:00Newcastle vs Northampton
Friday 26th September
19:45London Welsh vs Gloucester
Saturday 27th September
15:00Leicester vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Sale
15:15Northampton vs Bath
Sunday 28th September
14:00Wasps vs Newcastle
14:00Exeter vs Harlequins
Friday 3rd October
19:45Bath vs Saracens
Saturday 4th October
15:00Harlequins vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Northampton
15:15Gloucester vs Leicester
Sunday 5th October
14:00Sale vs Wasps
15:00Newcastle vs Exeter
Friday 10th October
19:45Leicester vs Harlequins
Saturday 11th October
14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
15:00Saracens vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs London Irish
15:15Northampton vs Sale
Sunday 12th October
14:00Wasps vs Bath
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com