Home team Away Team

Saracens

  • Strettle, Wigglesworth, Ashton, Burger, Taylor (2), George, Vunipola, Ransom,
    Penalty goals: Farrell,
    Conversions: Farrell (8),
64 - 3

Zebre


  • Penalty goals: Orquera,
  • European Rugby Champions Cup
  • Pool 3
  • 14th Dec 2013
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: Allianz Park
  • Att: 7,300

Heineken Cup Pool 3: Saracens' Chris Ashton draws praise on his return to action

Last updated: 14th December 2013  

Heineken Cup Pool 3: Saracens' Chris Ashton draws praise on his return to action

Mark McCall: Saracens did the double over Zebre

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Video

Gallery

Article/Blog

Teams

Players

Also see

Saracens boss Mark McCall hailed the performance of returning England international Chris Ashton during the nine-try mauling of Zebre.

Tries from David Strettle, Jacques Burger, Jamie George, Richard Wigglesworth, Ben Ransom, Billy Vunipola, Ashton and a double from Duncan Taylor saw McCall's men claim a 64-3 bonus-point win.

"I thought he (Chris Ashton) did well in the autumn and he enjoys coming back to the club. We know how good he is," said McCall. "He has always been good for us and he was good again today.

"I think he gets scrutinised more than other players and people look for small incidents rather than looking at his strengths.

"He gets a different kind of scrutiny than everyone else which is unfair.

"He was superb today. He's been good for a period of time and people look to criticise him for small mistakes.

"It was a good performance today, probably better than last week. I'm pleased we went for 80 minutes and scored more tries in the second half than we did last week.

"We got 10 points - that was our minimum requirement over the two games against Zebre.

"We need to go and win in Toulouse if we want to top the group and get that home quarter-final. We need as many points as we can.

"But for now we'll deal with the Premiership as we've got three games before then.

"The squad's in a happy place at the moment but we've got a massive and different challenge next week against the Leicester Tigers."

Off the pace

The only points for Zebre came from the boot of Luciano Orquera and Italian skipper Marco Bortolami admitted he was disappointed with his side's performance.

"It was difficult for us because we couldn't handle the pressure Saracens put on us," Bortolami said. "It was very difficult and hard to play against them.

"We're not used to this pace. If you're not in the right position you can't be effective in the tackle or what you do so we have to work on that.

"Our movement around the ruck wasn't good or quick enough. They got on the front foot every single time and we could not stop them.

"Overall it wasn't a decent performance. The game was probably over at half-time.

"I think Saracens can go very far in the tournament. They're very well organised, very physical. They're hard to play against and if they keep this momentum they can go to the end.

"We've got two hard games left. Both teams will come to us to get qualification for the quarter-finals.

"The Heineken Cup is very hard and for such a young team like we are it is very difficult, but we have to look forward and keep working hard and it will be better next game."

Heineken Cup. Click here to bet.
Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 5th December
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Montpellier vs Bath
Saturday 6th December
13:00Sale vs Saracens
17:30Munster vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Ulster vs Scarlets
13:00Benetton Treviso vs Northampton
15:15Ospreys vs Racing Metro 92
Sunday 7th December
13:00Castres vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leinster
17:30Leicester vs Toulon
15:15Toulouse vs Glasgow
Friday 12th December
19:45Bath vs Montpellier
Saturday 13th December
17:15Saracens vs Sale
19:45Leinster vs Harlequins
15:15Toulon vs Leicester
13:00Glasgow vs Toulouse
15:15Northampton vs Benetton Treviso
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Ospreys
Sunday 14th December
15:15Clermont Auvergne vs Munster
13:00Wasps vs Castres
17:15Scarlets vs Ulster
Saturday 17th January
TBCSaracens vs Munster
TBCSale vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCHarlequins vs Wasps
TBCLeinster vs Castres
TBCLeicester vs Scarlets

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com