Record-breaking wing praised but Saracens boss not happy with ‘really poor decisions’ against Gloucester

Adam Kyriacou
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was far from impressed with his team’s decision-making in the closing stages of their Premiership victory over Gloucester.

Despite the comfortable 46-24 win against the Cherry and Whites that saw Tom Parton run in a record-breaking hat-trick, McCall lamented their finish to the match.

Parton claimed his three tries after 20 minutes and 25 seconds, setting a new Premiership record for a treble, as he grabbed his opportunity in some style on the wing.

McCall demands better

However, McCall‘s mixed reaction to the result was due to their final 10 minutes at the StoneX Stadium where he felt Saracens made some “really poor decisions”.

McCall said of Parton: “He did great, Tom, and he’s been patiently waiting for an opportunity and certainly took that opportunity today, so there were some very good individual performances, some very good individual moments and some good team stuff.

“But we want to be a team who are better for longer during the 80 minutes and we’ve got to be honest about how we assess that performance.

“We made a number of really poor decisions in the last 10 minutes of the game which weren’t done for what the situation needed.

“They were just done for other reasons and it wasn’t just one decision, it was three or four.

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“You want to be part of a team who are making decisions for the right reasons all the time and are not affected by the scoreboard.

“That’s what the best players do and in the last 10 minutes we were guilty of not doing that.”

Parton’s early hat-trick saw Saracens surge into a 22-0 lead, with Theo McFarland, Tom Willis, Olly Hartley and Lucio Cinti then going over in the second period.

There was also a hat-trick on the Gloucester side as 20-year-old Josh Hathaway claimed his own treble while Seb Blake scored as the visitors reduced the margin.

Gloucester head coach George Skivington said: “We weren’t accurate enough, probably, in the first 10 minutes.

“We had three opportunities to execute some plays and we dropped the ball, so from that point of view there’s a good lesson there for how accurate you’ve got to be at this level.

Stayed in the fight

“But I think their ability to stay in the fight – they never threw the towel in – and then to fight back and score four tries up here is pretty pleasing.”

On Hathaway’s treble, he added: “We challenged Josh with a couple of bits around his game for today, but when you put the ball in his hands, he’s world-class and I think he’s scored a good few tries like that.

“He’s had a good few moments and obviously he’s in the deep end today and he’s come out and had three really good moments for us.”

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