McCall hails ‘incredible display’

Date published: January 7 2017

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall praised his side’s “effort and bravery” as they drew 13-13 with Exeter despite having 14 players.

In what he called an “incredible display”, McCall’s men recovered from Richard Barrington’s early red card to take a draw from the game.

“I thought it was a phenomenal effort by the 23 who played,” he told Saracens‘ website after the result that moves them top of the table.

“It’s as hard earned two points as you’ll ever get and we’re delighted that we got those two points.”

Reflecting on how his side coped after being down to 14 men after 10 minutes McCall paid tribute to the efforts of the Saracens forwards.

“We decided we would go 8 v 8 and then the responsibility fell to the pack. Having had a difficult day against Leicester last week to get the upper hand in the set piece, which we did, was very important factor in the game. That left for the backs a big job to do defensively on the front line, and to cover the backfield, and they did that superbly well,” he said.

“I thought it was an incredible display for lots of reasons.

“Obviously to lose a man as early as we did and go 70 minutes against a team of Exeter’s quality you have to fight, which we did, and then we showed a lot of effort and bravery.

“The players were incredible with how they coped and how they dealt with all the situations that arose. By the end it was a game they we really could have won as well so it really was an incredible effort.”