Saracens boss Mark McCall praised the forward effort in Saturday’s 24-10 win over Leicester Tigers at Allianz Park but admitted his team were frustrated not to come away with the bonus point.
With both Maro Itoje and George Kruis sidelined due to injury there was a different look to the Saracens second row as Mike Rhodes, who usually plays at flanker, coming in to the number 4 jersey to partner Jim Hamilton and being named Man of the Match at the end of the game.
Speaking on the performance up front McCall said: “I give Ian Peel, our forwards coach, a lot of credit today. It was a big job to organise our line out in particular, to make sure that we won ball, that we were competitive on their ball and for the most part we did that pretty well certainly in the first half we did.
“Also [give credit to] Michael Rhodes because the hardest thing to go from back row to second row is to be consistent at scrum time and he was he did a great job for us at scrum time and was good and effective.”
Despite a strong start to the game Saracens could not manage a try scoring bonus point, a fact that McCall admits is a source of some frustration for his side.
“There’s just a little bit of frustration in the dressing room because we set ourselves very very high standards and we got close to those standards in the first half,” he added.
“I thought in the first half we showed some really good signs of how good we can be, the standards that we want achieve
“17-3 was probably about right but once we got to 24-3 I thought we were really sloppy…and its big lesson for us because we didn’t get the job done that we wanted to get done.
“We spent the last 15/20 minutes defending which is not what we wanted to do we did it pretty well we fought hard in our 22 but we should have got five points today its frustrating.”