Sarries boss questions winning penalty

Date published: January 10 2015

Saracens boss Mark McCall was left frustrated by the decision to award Gloucester a game-changing penalty in the dying moments of Friday’s clash at Kingsholm.

James Hook’s last-gasp kick from the halfway line handed Gloucester a 24-23 win a gripping Premiership game that could have gone either way.

The game was decided by a contentious penalty awarded to the Cherry and Whites with seconds left on the clock, after Chris Ashton looked to have scored Saracens fourth try of the evening.

“Chris is clearly in-front of Neil de Kock when the ball is kicked, the issue we have is that they knocked the ball on prior to that,” said McCall.

“The referee, a good referee, should have said ‘Chris Ashton is in-front of the kicker, we’ll come back for the scrum’. There was 45 seconds on the clock and that should have been game over, so it’s pretty disappointing.”

McCall believes Saracens gifted Gloucester too much field position.

“It was a game the ebbed and flowed all the way through, we showed some poor sides to ourselves and some really good sides to ourselves throughout the game,” he explained.

“With the breeze, some poor discipline and some pretty average decision making around the break-down in the first half, we gave them a lot of field position and didn’t really allow ourselves to build pressure.”

“I thought we dealt reasonably well with some set-backs in the second half like the yellow cards and the 80 metre try scored out of nothing. I thought we did well to bounce back from that. We also defended our line brilliantly in the last 10 or 12 minutes so it’s obviously very disappointing to lose in the manner that we did.”