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- Aviva Premiership
- 22nd Mar 2014
- KO 15:15
- Ground: Allianz Park
- Att: 83,889
Aviva Premiership: Saracens chief Mark McCall questions officials after dangerous tackle on David Strettle
- Saturday's Aviva Prem preview
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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall questioned why a dangerous tackle on David Strettle was not referred to the television match official in the Aviva Premiership leaders' 39-17 victory over Harlequins.
Strettle was carried off on a stretcher in the sixth minute after a swinging arm from number eight Maurie Fa'asavalu knocked him out amid a physical start to the Wembley showdown.
Referee Tim Wigglesworth failed to consult the TMO even though Strettle received treatment for several minutes.
But, while disappointed with the incident, McCall refused to condemn Fa'asavalu, saying: "I didn't see the angle everyone is talking about, so I can't comment on it.
"It would be foolish for me to say anything. David is okay. He's pretty shaken up but he's okay.
"The Richard Wigglesworth penalty which the referee came back for was something out of nothing compared to what happened to David.
"There is a system that can be used by the officials in this situation. Clearly it wasn't used as well as it could have been.
"In all matches a couple of things go on that probably shouldn't."
The tackle is sure to interest the citing officer, but Quins director of rugby Conor O'Shea backed Fa'asavalu. He said: "There should be nothing on that. I've seen it."
Owen Farrell, Chris Ashton, George Kruis, Jacques Burger and Marcelo Bosch scored tries as Saracens reclaimed top spot in the Premiership, aided by Northampton's defeat at Sale.
O'Shea remains upbeat
A new attendance record for a club match of 83,889 was set at Wembley, but it was a far from thrilling spectacle as Quins were a distant second best.
But O'Shea refused to be too downbeat, adding: "We're happy with that. It was a brilliant occasion and to have a record crowd for a run of the mill Premiership game was brilliant.
"At times we played some good stuff, but we weren't at our best. When we got it right we were pretty clinical.
"It's a happy but frustrated changing room because every time we got our noses in front, we allowed them back into the match."
O'Shea rested his England contingent of Chris Robshaw, Danny Care and Mike Brown who were given the weekend off following their involvement in the Six Nations.
Quins paid the price by losing more ground in the race for a place in the play-offs, but O'Shea was unapologetic.
"Mentally and physically I felt it was the right thing for them to have a break. You have to look after players," O'Shea said.
"Mike Brown wasn't training on Monday or Tuesday leading up to the Italy game and before that. I spoke to him over two weeks ago and said take the week off.
"With the other two I just thought that after last week we'd give them time off. I felt the best thing for their long-term future was to give them the rest. It would have been easy to play them."
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|Sunday 28th December|
|14:30||Gloucester vs Wasps|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:45||Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|16:30||Exeter vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 4th January|
|14:00||Wasps vs Sale|
|14:00||Leicester Tigers vs Bath|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Harlequins|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:00||Sale vs Northampton|
|15:00||Bath vs Wasps|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Exeter|
|Saturday 14th February|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Sunday 15th February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|15:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|Friday 20th February|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|15:00||Bath vs Northampton|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com