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- European Rugby Champions Cup
- Pool 3
- 18th Oct 2013
- KO 19:45
- Ground: Wembley
- Att: 61,428
Heineken Cup: Saracens look to bounce back after loss to Pool 3 rivals Toulouse
This result puts Toulouse in control of the group to a degree, but we still have a lot to play for.
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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall admits that his side's 17-16 defeat to Toulouse leaves their opponents in charge of Pool 3 - but he insists the losers "still have a lot to play for".
The Aviva Premiership leaders looked on course for victory at Wembley when a try from Chris Wyles and some key kicks from Owen Farrell gave them a 16-7 lead.
However they were unable to hang on in a thrilling second half, Toulouse responding with 10 points in the space of three minutes.
Sarries did all they could to hit back, only for Farrell to see a long-range penalty fall short before a last-gasp drop goal attempt by the fly-half was blocked.
"We had a couple of chances in injury time. Owen's penalty was pretty close," McCall said.
"I thought there were a couple of penalties in those 22 phases at the end but it didn't appear as though they'd be given.
"It demonstrated the fight and composure of the team that we were able to do that. It's unbelievably disappointing to lose.
"This result puts Toulouse in control of the group to a degree, but we still have a lot to play for.
"We must do the job when we have Zebre back to back in December."
Things had all looked so rosy for the capital club when centre Wyles crossed in the ninth minute, with Farrell adding the conversion. the British and Irish Lion also slotted over three penalties to open up a useful lead.
"It was a really tight game. We got ourselves into a nine-point lead and in a match as tight as that we should have seen it through," McCall continued.
"That five-metre scrum was a horrible way to lose seven points. That said, our effort, energy, physicality and fight were extraordinary at times.
"Toulouse are a very good team and we had to fight really hard in defence. For an hour we controlled them pretty well."
The Saracens boss was able to take some comfort in the performances of Farrell and Chris Ashton, good news for their employers and also England boss Stuart Lancaster ahead of the autumn QBE Internationals.
"Owen was magnificent, unbelievable, the best player on the pitch," McCall added. "He did every thing and doesn't shoulder any of the blame - he was brilliant.
On winger Ashton, he said: "Chris had a really strong game as well, but he's been good all season."
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European Rugby Champions Cup Table
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Friday 17th October|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Castres|
|Saturday 18th October|
|13:00||Sale vs Munster|
|15:15||Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne|
|19:45||Leicester vs Ulster|
|15:15||Glasgow vs Bath|
|17:15||Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton|
|Sunday 19th October|
|17:15||Leinster vs Wasps|
|15:15||Toulon vs Scarlets|
|13:00||Toulouse vs Montpellier|
|13:00||Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso|
|Friday 24th October|
|19:45||Munster vs Saracens|
|Saturday 25th October|
|13:00||Ulster vs Toulon|
|19:45||Scarlets vs Leicester|
|15:15||Bath vs Toulouse|
|17:15||Montpellier vs Glasgow|
|17:15||Northampton vs Ospreys|
|Sunday 26th October|
|15:15||Clermont Auvergne vs Sale|
|14:00||Castres vs Leinster|
|17:15||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|17:15||Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92|
|Saturday 6th December|
|TBC||Munster vs Clermont Auvergne|
|TBC||Sale vs Saracens|
|TBC||Castres vs Wasps|
|TBC||Harlequins vs Leinster|
|TBC||Ulster vs Scarlets|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com