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- Aviva Premiership
- 30th Nov 2013
- KO 15:00
- Ground: Allianz Park
- Att: 8,150
Aviva Premiership: Mark McCall impressed with Saracens' team spirit
- Saturday's Aviva Prem preview
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- Mallinder wants another gear
- Northampton quintet sign up
- O'Shea: Easter superb
- Flood stars in Leicester win
- Saints sink winless Worcester
- Wasps spoil Topsy's day
- Quins shoot down Falcons
- Saracens rely on Kruis control
- Ford boots Bath to derby win
Saracens boss Mark McCall admitted Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens had been involved in a titanic struggle before emerging with a 24-19 triumph over Sale.
Sarries were trailing six minutes from time before their relentless second-half forward pressure resulted in the winning try for lock George Kruis at Allianz Park.
The result gave Saracens eight wins from nine Premiership matches this season, but director of rugby McCall conceded it was far from easy.
He said: "Give Sale a lot of credit. They made us work very hard for it. We weren't at our best in the first half and we gave them some points.
"We had much more energy and dominated the second half but they made us battle for everything we've got."
However, Saracens victory was tarnished by the loss of England Saxons flanker Will Fraser, who was carried off on stretcher in the first half.
Fraser, recently back after summer shoulder surgery, was taken to Barnet hospital, suffering from knee and foot injuries following a tackle.
McCall said: "It's not looking good. He'll be a huge loss. He played magnificently for the club last year, he had an operation at the end of last season and was just coming back to his best."
The rival camps, meanwhile, had differing views on referee JP Doyle's decision to disallow Sale winger Charlie Ingall a second-half try, which could have proved crucial.
Doyle consulted the television match official, who ruled there had been a knock-on early in the build-up.
McCall said: "We felt at the time there was a knock-on and the touch judge missed it but we are glad the system is in place."
His Sale counterpart Steve Diamond responded by saying: "They were lucky to come back 10 phases because he'd not seen it.
"I've seen it once and it looked like it was all right but surely two referees can't get it wrong. But I'm a bit disappointed really."
Diamond was, though, pleased with the heart and endeavour his improving side showed against the leaders.
"We got the game plan right. We just couldn't execute the exit a couple of times getting out of our 22. If we'd done that we'd have won the game," he said.
"There's no point whingeing about it. We got a bonus point and we've got six points out of our last two games which is good for us.
"If somebody had said that two weeks ago we'd have been happy with it. I think Saracens know they've been in a game.
"It was a good performance and it would have been great to get the scalp but it wasn't to be.
"The mark of a good team is to get a bonus point when you lose away from home against the top of the league.
"The confidence levels are high and it's a case of getting the lads to believe they are a good team."Aviva Premiership. Click here to bet.
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com