Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall slams Worcester's Josh Matavesi

Last updated: 14th April 2013  

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall slams Worcester's Josh Matavesi

McCall: Unhappy with Josh Matavesi's challenge on Neil de Kock

Fortunately he seems to be okay but it looked pretty deliberate to me; I leapt up as I felt it could have been a deliberate game ploy from Worcester.

Mark McCall
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Mark McCall slammed Josh Matavesi for his 'horrendous' challenge on Neil de Kock during Saracens' 47-17 win over Worcester.

Sarries' bonus-point win secured a home semi-final in the Aviva Premiership play-offs but McCall felt it was soured by Matavesi's challenge on scrum-half de Kock.

"It was a horrendous challenge; we could have lost our scrum-half with a broken jaw or cheekbone," said McCall, who remonstrated with Worcester counterpart Richard Hill after the incident.

"Fortunately he seems to be okay but it looked pretty deliberate to me; I leapt up as I felt it could have been a deliberate game ploy from Worcester."

Hill, who accepted that the tackle was bad, said: "It was a very clumsy challenge from Josh but he's not a malicious player.

"It was badly mistimed and a citing seems likely. Josh has apologised and I fully understand Mark's reaction to protect his player."

Saracens were able to record a convincing win despite resting a number of key players, with David Strettle scoring a hat-trick and Chris Ashton and Jack Wray also claiming tries.

McCall added: "It showed the depth of our squad as we backed up well after a testing European quarter-final at Twickenham.

Chances

"We took our chances, David Strettle's second try was as good a finish as you will see but though we are happy with the win, we played well below our standard."

Worcester have not won away in the Premiership all season and could not recover from being 23-3 down after only 25 minutes.

Hill said: "We had a very poor slow start but got our second wind just before half-time and they were a bit rattled when we got it back to 27-17.

"We didn't deserve to lose by such a big margin as we gave away two soft tries at the end, trying to run from an impossible position."

Hill said that he was not in favour of the artificial pitch at Allianz Park.

"It is very fast and takes some getting used to. I'm not a fan of it as it creates a different type of game and I'm definitely a grass man."

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