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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall believes Heineken Cup match against Toulouse will be decided by little details
The Saracens coaching staff have been searching for weaknesses to exploit against Toulouse tonight but director of rugby Mark McCall admits the Men in Black’s opponents are almost faultless, believing the contest at Wembley will instead be decided by the “little things”.
Sarries currently trail the four-times Heineken Cup champions by a point in Pool 3 but know a win at Wembley will not only lift them above their opponents, but put them in the driving seat to secure qualification to the quarter-finals.
On the only two occasions these two clubs have met before in Europe’s premier tournament in 2000/01, the Men in Black won both home and away but tonight’s match-up is an altogether different test.
“Our squad are in a good place - certainly there’s a lot of things we’re doing that are good but this is a different challenge, this is the toughest opposition we've played so far this season,” McCall said.
“We've looked through their team and through their team sheet for chinks in the armour and there aren’t many chinks in the armour.
“They’re just a good team - a well-organised team and a well-coached team. It’s going to be two heavyweights going against each other so we have to get our details right.
“The little things could mean quite a lot in a game like this.”
Despite a disjointed display against Connacht last week, Saracens ground out a gutsy victory with a performance that was in contrast to much of the team's flash and flowing rugby this season that has yielded 17 tries in six matches.
McCall wants his players to focus on the basics tonight however and believes the minor details could prove the difference.
“I thought we deserved to win the match [against Connacht] but we dealt very poorly with their kicking game and I think given the weather conditions for [tonight] we’re going to have to be a lot better in that area,” McCall said.
“It’s going to be one of those games I believe where the fundamentals are going to be key.
“Set pieces, scrum, lineout, kicking game, winning field position, taking chances when they come our way, stopping them taking their chances when they come their way – I think it’s going to be one of those sorts of fixtures.”
McCall was complimentary when assessing Toulouse but the Sarries boss believes his players can be more than a match for their opponents.
He said: “Toulouse have got a pair of half-backs who can run the game, three-quarters who can make things happen but also defend very well - they're very physical in those three-quarters - and they have a pretty tasty back row as well.
“So there isn’t too many weaknesses in their team but there aren’t many weaknesses in our team either.”
Close to 60,000 supporters are expected to be watching at Wembley - the largest crowd for a UK pool match in the history of the competition – and McCall expects his players to rise to the occasion.
“It’s great to have a club match with around 60,000 people watching,” he said.
“It’s a big game already, we know the consequences of getting the right result – we can be in control of the group but a lot has to happen for us to do that."
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