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Harlequins


  • Penalty goals: Evans (4),
12 - 22

Saracens

  • Ashton,
    Penalty goals: Farrell (5),
    Conversions: Farrell,
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 28th Sep 2013
  • KO 15:15
  • Ground: The Stoop
  • Att: 12,220

Aviva Premiership: Mark McCall not looking too far ahead after fourth straight win

Last updated: 28th September 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Aviva Premiership: Mark McCall not looking too far ahead after fourth straight win

Mark McCall: Pleased with another impressive performance

We just always want to be there or thereabouts and put ourselves in the frame for the top four, but we never look too far ahead.

Mark McCall
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Saracens boss Mark McCall warned the end of the season is more important than the start after they won their fourth straight Aviva Premiership match.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall warned it is the business end of the Aviva Premiership that matters following the 22-12 victory over title rivals Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop.

The north London club opened up a four-point lead at the top of the table after dismantling Quins in the second half, Chris Ashton crossing in the 51st minute and Owen Farrell kicking five penalties and a conversion.

It was the first time in four matches that Saracens failed to finish with a try-scoring bonus point, but it was a result that confirmed them as the team to beat in the Premiership.

"In many ways that was the most satisfying win we've had this season," said McCall, who confirmed Farrell left the pitch late on with cramp only.

"Gloucester, Bath and Quins in a row was a tough ask, but it's been the manner of the way we started - we've played some decent rugby along the way.

"We've got off to a flyer, but Northampton look incredibly impressive. But it's not about how you start, it's about how you end.

"We just always want to be there or thereabouts and put ourselves in the frame for the top four, but we never look too far ahead."

Mistakes

Quins led 12-6 at half-time through four penalties from Nick Evans, but they were then picked apart with Saracens' power game forcing a succession of mistakes as they flung the ball wide out of hope.

"We were very good for most of the game. When you're down 12-6 teams can react by losing composure, but this group is very good at retaining composure and doing the right things," McCall said.

"We built pressure on them all the way through in that second half. We won the second half 16-0 and played really well."

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea was impressed by Saracens, but agreed with McCall that it is too early to view them as Premiership champions in waiting.

"They're physically very powerful and were the better side on the day," O'Shea said.

"We played well in the first half, but in the second half we just didn't hold on to the ball for any length of time.

"Saracens have huge strength in depth and probably have most of their key players fit.

"Everyone knows they are an excellent team and will take some stopping, but Northampton went six from six at the start of last season. Things change drastically in the season.

"We're disappointed to lose at home, but it's important the players don't feel sorry for themselves.

"We're fine and I'm very comfortable with the group of players we have."

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 2nd January
Aviva Premiership
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs Newcastle
15:00Northampton vs London Irish
Sunday 15th February
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
14:30London Welsh vs Sale
15:00Saracens vs Bath
Friday 20th February
20:00Newcastle vs Wasps
Saturday 21st February
14:00Sale vs Saracens
15:00Harlequins vs Exeter
15:00London Irish vs Leicester
15:00Bath vs Northampton
15:00Gloucester vs London Welsh
Saturday 28th February
14:30London Welsh vs London Irish

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