Challenge Cup: Saracens captain Owen Farrell to use semi-final defeat to Toulon as fuel for rest of season

Date published: May 15 2022 - Adam Kyriacou

Saracens captain Owen Farrell was upset with his team’s performance after they crashed out of the Challenge Cup at the hands of Toulon.

The England star lamented his side’s first-half showing as they went down 25-16 at Stade Felix-Mayol, with Toulon progressing to face Lyon in the final.

Farrell though could not hide his disappointment at missing out on the showpiece event, highlighting the opening stanza as the costly period for his team.

Will look inwards

“We are obviously disappointed with the result but probably more with the performance, especially in that first half,” said Farrell after the tough defeat.

“I feel like we could have given a better account of ourselves, especially in some areas we pride ourselves on. We will have to look inwards now, and we need to make sure it spurs us on for the rest of the season.

“We couldn’t string too much together today. Massive credit to Toulon in the way they defended, and how they slowed down our breakdown in particular.

“It was hard to play against. We need to make sure we figure out why, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“People will feel the way they are feeling tonight, and we will have a look at it tomorrow. We’ll get straight on to it.”

Two tries from Gabin Villiere and one from Jiuta Wainiqolo helped Toulon to the victory, with boss Mark McCall echoing Farrell’s thoughts after the game.

“Yes, I think that’s spot on,” he said when asked about Saracens‘ performance in France.

“It didn’t feel like we dealt with the occasion all that well. It was our first time back in an occasion like this.

“We need to see what we can learn from it. I’m not sure who did or who didn’t (play well) but it doesn’t take many for your team to be off.

“Toulon were supercharged tonight, and the crowd was as well. We’ve got four or five weeks left of the season, and we can get something from this experience and take it into the rest of the Premiership season.

“I thought in the first half we got harassed into doing things we didn’t want to do. Our fundamentals weren’t great in the second half.

“Our lineout wasn’t good, and without that foundation and platform it’s very hard to play when you’re up against a team like Toulon who are on fire and as aggressive as they were.”

READ MORE: Challenge Cup: Gabin Villiere stars as Toulon set up all-French final