Aviva Premiership: Saracens chief Mark McCall hails Quins triumph
Aviva Premiership: Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall hails his side's victory over Harlequins on Saturday
Saracens might have failed to write their name in the history books but director of rugby Mark McCall hailed their defeat of Harlequins at the Stoop their best victory of the Aviva Premiership season so far.
Having already gained a maximum 15 points from wins over London Irish, Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby, Sarries headed to the home of their London rivals looking to become the first-ever side to open up a season with four bonus-point victories.
And while they were unable to so as they crossed the tryline just once through Chris Ashton, the England wing’s score was enough to see Saracens home in a 22-12 victory.
Fly-half Nick Evans kicked all of Harlequins’ points in the first half while his opposite number Owen Farrell helped himself to a 17-point haul in reply.
And after cementing their place atop the Aviva Premiership with the win McCall insisted he couldn’t be happier, even if they did have to only settle for four points this time around.
“In many ways that was the most satisfying win we’ve had this season,” McCall said.
“Gloucester, Bath and Quins in a row was a tough ask, but it’s been the manner of the way we started – we’ve played some decent rugby along the way.
“We’ve got off to a flyer, but Northampton look incredibly impressive.
“It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you end. We just always want to be there or thereabouts and put ourselves in the frame for the top four, but we never look too far ahead.”
As for Harlequins they have now lost two of their opening four games having also fallen to defeat at the hands of Northampton Saints.
Both of these have come in front of their home fans at the Stoop but director of rugby Conor O’Shea doesn’t want his players to start feeling sorry for themselves.
“They [Saracens] are physically very powerful and were the better side on the day,” O’Shea said.
“We played well in the first half, but in the second half we just didn’t hold on to the ball for any length of time.
“Saracens have huge strength in depth and probably have most of their key players fit. Everyone knows they are an excellent team and will take some stopping, but Northampton went six from six at the start of last season. Things change drastically in the season.
“We’re disappointed to lose at home, but it’s important the players don’t feel sorry for themselves. We’re fine and I’m very comfortable with the group of players we have.”
Elsewhere in the Premiership, London Wasps secured a 32-16 victory over Worcester and Bath were 33-18 winners against London Irish.