McCall feels sorry for red-carded Watson

Date published: April 2 2016

Saracens boss Mark McCall sympathised with Bath back Anthony Watson after he was red carded in Friday's game at The Rec.

Watson was sent off by referee Greg Garner for tackling England teammate Alex Goode in the air.

McCall defended Watson by saying that the incident had not been intentional given Watson had been forced to check his run before the contact was made.

"The letter of the law says it is possibly a red card, but I feel sorry for Anthony because it was not intentional," McCall said.

"His route to Alex was slightly disrupted by one of our players.

"He had to change course, he doesn't time it well, but it was what it was. It didn't change the course of the game."

Bath head coach Mike Ford said that Watson was "gutted" and that the collision had been accidental.

"By the letter of the law, it is a sending off, isn't it? He (Watson) got underneath Alex, and Alex landed awkwardly," Ford explained.

"You get underneath the guy jumping, take his legs away and he lands awkwardly like he did, it's a red.

"Anthony is gutted. He was going for the ball, [Chris] Ashton checked his run, and then all of a sudden he is underneath the player. It was an accident.

"We will have a look at it. We will fight his corner."

Watson's red card overshadowed what was a dominant win for Saracens over last year's Premiership finalists, with Ashton returning from a ten-week suspenion to score two tries.

"It was good to get Chris back. At times, we played some really good rugby, especially in the first half," McCall added.

"His try-scoring record per game is probably as good as any winger in the Premiership.

"It is important that we keep our feet firmly on the ground. What we know is if we prepare really well and do our homework and turn up with the attitude that we had tonight, we are a tough proposition."

Ford admitted that at times Bath had no answer to Saracens approach in another bruising loss for his side, their 11th in the league this season.

"They put us under a lot of pressure, and we didn't cope with it in a lot of ways. We melted in some departments," Ford said.

"We lost the game in the first half. 18-3 down against Saracens is always going to be tough.

"And then down to 13 men, it was very ugly, but the boys showed a bit of a character to score a try."