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Aviva Premiership: Mark McCall delighted with Saracens' international stars

Last updated: 14th February 2014   Subscribe to RSS Feed

 Steve Diamond Sale Aviva Premiership

Steve Diamond: Sale director of rugby rued side's indiscipline

Rugby union Alex Goode Saracens

Alex Goode: England full-back was back on domestic duty at AJ Bell Stadium

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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall praised his returning Six Nations contingent as they secured a battling 15-10 triumph over Sale Sharks.

The likes of Mako Vunipola, Alex Goode and Kelly Brown played a full part in their victory over Sale which took them to the top of the Aviva Premiership table.

They will now go back to their countries as they prepare for the upcoming international games, but McCall was delighted with their contribution on Friday night.

"For the returning internationals, it's not easy to come from one environment to another," he said.

"It tells you a lot about our club that Brad Barritt, Mako Vunipola, Chris Ashton, Duncan Taylor, Kelly Brown and Alex Goode can come back and perform the way they did tonight.

"They showed a real class but also desire to play for Saracens and it's to their credit."

McCall also praised the performances of the half-backs as a dominant display after the break overturned a 10-3 half-time deficit in difficult conditions.

He added: "I thought that Charlie Hodgson, Richard Wigglesworth and Neil de Kock controlled the game beautifully. After a six-day turnaround, to come up to Sale is a difficult ask and I thought that we were deserved winners.

"I thought that we played well in the first half and deserved to be up at half-time but we weren't. What we did this time around was show a lot of composure and patience in the second half."

Experience

Sale's director of rugby Steve Diamond admitted that they were beaten by the better team.

Although a Marc Jones' try had put them in command, they couldn't sustain it and the Sharks succumbed to their seventh Premiership defeat of the campaign.

Diamond said: "They probably handled the weather a little bit better than us. Overall, I'm reasonably happy as we managed to get six points out of these last two games.

"I think they showed their experience in the second half by kicking the ball behind us all the time and we struggled to get out of our 22.

"There were a few decisions early doors that went our way, he probably should have yellow carded Quates (Mark Cueto) for tackling the guy without the ball, but equally there was a high tackle which wasn't seen for us.

"But the decisions didn't go our way in the last 20 minutes, I think the penalty count was 14-6 in the whole game which is disappointing, so we'll have to work on our discipline a bit more."

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TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Sunday 21st September
Aviva Premiership
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
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Friday 3rd October
19:45Bath vs Saracens
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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
15:00Gloucester vs Harlequins
15:00Northampton vs Exeter
15:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
14:00Wasps vs London Welsh

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Phil Edwards

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