McCall hails ‘courageous’ Sarries

Date published: April 5 2015

Saracens boss Mark McCall hailed his side's effort in their European Champions Cup quarter-final win over Racing-Métro as one of the most courageous he has ever seen.

The Premiership side secured their place in the semi-finals after Argentina centre Marcelo Bosch landed a 45-metre penalty into a strong wind in injury time.

McCall admitted that he felt full-back Alex Goode should have taken the kick which booked the Premiership side a semi-final clash against Clermont in St Etienne later this month.

“I was surprised to see it was Bosch taking it because I thought it was in Alex Goode's range," said McCall.

"But the wind was very strong, so it was Bosch's range. He had the nerve to say he wanted it, which is half the battle. He hit it pretty sweetly.

"Marcelo is pretty cool.  He's pretty laid back, but like anybody, that's one of those kicks that if you miss it can cause the damage.

"I'm very grateful that he held his nerve. He also made the tackle on our goalline that kept us in the match as well.

"We weren't great in the first half even though we had a very strong wind behind us. But that's where it turned around and I'd say our second-half performance was as courageous, brave and hard working as I've seen.

"We went hunting and kept knocking them down and scrapped for absolutely everything."

Bosch believes staying calm in such difficult circumstances helped him land what is arguably the most important kick of his career.

"With kicks like this you're either the hero of the day or the bad guy, so I'm happy that it went my way," he explained.

"I just stayed relaxed and fortunately it went through the posts.

"Sometimes they ask me if I'm keen to take the long-range kicks and because of the wind it was not a good distance for the other kickers. I said 'why not? I can take it' and the rest is history.

"The last time I did a kick like that was when I was 21 and playing for an amateur club in Argentina. It was from more or less the same range against our clasico rivals.

"It was a great memory for me, but it was a long time ago. I tried to be as relaxed as possible because we had the wind in our face and I didn't want to force it.

"It was the last minute of the game so I was tired and tried not to think about what it represented."