Planet Rugby

McCall pleased by tricky win

05th October 2013 20:04


SKY_MOBILE Mark McCall - Saracens Aviva Premiership

Tested: Mark McCall

Saracens coach Mark McCall was delighted to see his team truly tested by London Wasps in their 19-12 win at Allianz Park.

The win was Saracens fifth from the opening five matches this season in the Aviva Premiership, keeping them top of the table ahead of Northampton Saints.

Having made several changes to the starting XV ahead of the Heineken Cup next week, Owen Farrell started on the bench with Alex Goode at fly-half in a move that McCall later admitted had caused Saracens difficulty - despite the need to rest the England fly-half following a gruelling year.

"Sometimes you have to dig in. Everybody wants to see lots of tries but Wasps did a tremendous job today," said McCall.

"They were good defensively, they get numbers in at the breakdown, they go for the ball hard and it was a terrific workout for us ahead of the Heineken Cup next week.

"We rolled up our sleeves and won comfortably in the end, it's job done."

"It was almost unfair of us to ask Alex, who has been outstanding at 15, to step in at 10 and he did a good job, but we just felt at half-time the game wasn't going quite the way we wanted and it would bring a bit of organisation with Owen going there and Alex moving back to 15.

"Ben Ransom had a great game at full-back and I felt sorry for him having to come off at half- time.

"Owen wants to play every game but he's very sensible. He's just back from the Lions tour and we wouldn't have played him every game had Charlie Hodgson (Achilles injury) been fit because England want us to look after Owen long-term and that's very important."

London Wasps boss Dai Young was happy to see his side take away a losing bonus point after a strong defensive performance.

"We deserved to get something out of it," said Young.

"Our accuracy with the ball wasn't good enough and we'll have to work hard at that because we are not giving ourselves enough of a chance to put teams under pressure."

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