Teams will struggle at Irish – McCall

Date published: September 22 2014

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Saracens boss Mark McCall gave plenty of praise to London Irish following his team's late win against the Exiles on Saturday.

Saracens boss Mark McCall gave plenty of praise to London Irish following his team's late win against the Exiles on Saturday.

Billy Vunipola's try from a rolling maul with time almost up settled an entertaining contest at the Madejski, with Irish outscoring their visitors four tries to three as Alex Lewington scored a hat-trick.

All three of Lewington's tries, coming on his 23rd birthday, were from clever kicks behind the Saracens defensive line.

Explaining why England fly-half Owen Farrell wasn't kicking at goal late in the second half, McCall was naturally pleased with the outcome of captain Brad Barritt's decision to go to the corner rather than kick a penalty for a draw.

The 36-32 victory was a far cry from Saracens' 39-0 thrashing of Harlequins the previous Friday.

“Owen Farrell picked up a niggle, so he couldn't kick at goal, so we missed a couple of kicks. I probably would have kicked for goal in the last minute, but we leave it to the players on the field,” said McCall.

“Our skipper Brad Barritt made a brave call to go for the attacking line-out and we executed it brilliantly for Billy Vunipola's try.

“Fair play to them – they came with a clever plan to kick in behind our defence but we should have dealt with it better.

“They are a young, energetic and physical side and a lot of teams will come here and not win this season.”

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