McCall rues Harlequins fast start

Date published: September 25 2016

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall admitted that going down 17-0 so quickly at The Stoop left his side struggling to get back into the contest.

The defending Premiership and European champions suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of Harlequins, down 17 points at the break and only able to close the gap to 17-10 by the final whistle.

Paying credit to Harlequins, McCall was naturally disappointed by Saracens’ efforts.

“A 17-0 lead is a big lead to take into half-time. It was an uphill battle in the second half,” McCall said.

“Overall we have to be disappointed with our performance. It was 10-0 but nothing had really happened in the game.

“They then scored again quickly and your mind starts playing tricks on you, you think they’re more on top of you than they actually were.

“I don’t think they go into our 22 again for the rest of the game and we seemed to spend a lot of time down their end. But Quins played well.”

McCall also revealed that while England fly-half Owen Farrell is edging closer to full fitness, no risks will be taken over his return.

“Owen is getting closer and closer, but with the length of the season it’s just madness to make a short-term decision that might have long-term implications, so we’ll do the right thing,” McCall added.

“He did all the training last week, he just didn’t feel quite right and we’ll wait to he feels completely right in his own head before we play him. He’s mad keen to play.”