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Saracens boss Mark McCall hails Owen Farrell and insists fly-half bears no blame for Toulouse defeat
Mark McCall refused to blame Owen Farrell for Saracens 17-16 defeat against Toulouse, insisting his fly-half was the best player on the pitch at Wembley.
In the last four minutes of the game, Farrell had two opportunities to kick Saracens to a late victory but a penalty from inside his own half dropped short and a drop-goal attempt was charged down.
It was a disappointing end to a match but McCall gave Farrell his full backing.
"Owen was magnificent, unbelievable," McCall said. "He was the best player on the pitch.
"He did everything – defensively, offensively, goal-kicking – everything, and doesn’t shoulder any of the blame. He was brilliant."
Saracens led the four-times Heineken Cup champions by nine points in the second half but a converted try nine minutes from time gave Toulouse a lead they held on to.
"It’s unbelievably disappointing to lose," McCall continued. "We had a couple of chances in injury time - it demonstrated the fight and composure of the team that we were able to do that.
"It was a really tight game. We got ourselves into a nine-point lead and in a match as tight as that we should have seen it through.
"That five-metre scrum was a horrible way to lose seven points. That said, our effort, energy, physicality, and fight were extraordinary at times."
Toulouse are now strong favourites to qualify, leading Saracens by four points in Pool 3.
The Men in Black play two matches against Zebre in December before the return fixture in France in January.
"This result puts Toulouse in control of the group to a degree, but we still have a lot to play for," McCall added. "We must do a job when we have Zebre back to back in December.
"Toulouse are in control to a large degree. But I know this competition and you have to fight for every point.
"We have to do a good job against Zebre home and away - if we can be up there with two games to play we’ll still be in the hunt for the quarter-finals."
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