Saracens 33 Munster 10: Mark McCall praises impressive team performance

Director of rugby delighted with performance that gives Sarries a chance of winning Pool 1 next week

Mark McCall praised Saracens’ impressive team performance in their convincing 33-10 win over Munster in Pool 1 of the European Champions Cup.

First half tries for Saracens wingers Chris Wyles and Chris Ashton as well as three penalty goals from the boot of England outside-half Chris Ashton gave Saracens a 23-3 lead at the break.

We are in a position where we go to Clermont, and if we win the match, we win the pool. That is what our intention is going to be.

Mark McCall

Ashton added a second try in the second half before Denis Hurley got one back for Munster, but the real damage came in the opening 40 minutes as the Irish province’s passing and work at the breakdown came unstuck against the Wolfpack.

Farrell’s kicking was supreme as he finished the afternoon with 18 points to send out a reminder to Stuart Lancaster that he can be invaluable to England’s chances of winning the Six Nations, which begins next month.

And director of rugby McCall was delighted with a number of individual performances, including man of the match Billy Vunipola who topped the attacking and defensive stats, as well as the collective effort.

“Billy was phenomenal today,” McCall said.

“He was a force of nature in attack and defence, but I thought we had outstanding performances right through the group.

“Richard Wigglesworth was magnificent — he set the pace and tone of the match — and Chris Ashton was outstanding.

“Not his two tries, which were good, but some of his kicking game early on allowed us to control things. He was superb.

“Across the board there were top individual performances.”

Clermont’s late comeback at Sale Sharks gives Saracens everything to play for next week, but they need a win at the notoriously difficult Stade Marcel-Michelin against their opponents in last season’s Heineken Cup semi-final to be certain of a place in the quarter-finals.

There is a small sense of frustration that we didn’t get the fourth try, but I thought it was a really good performance against a very good team.

Mark McCall

In that match at Wembley, Saracens produced a stunning display to reach the final and something similar in Clermont on Sunday will send out a statement of their intent.

Despite the performance against Munster, McCall admitted there was a sense of disappointment that they were unable to get the fourth try for the bonus point, but the club have taken a lot from the manner of their win.

“We know we were up against a team who have a history of raising their game, and we wanted to beat that team today,” he added.

“We needed a performance like that. That will give us a great belief.

“There is a small sense of frustration that we didn’t get the fourth try, but I thought it was a really good performance against a very good team.

“We are in a position where we go to Clermont, and if we win the match, we win the pool.

“That is what our intention is going to be.”

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