Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall full of praise for his team after 49-10 win over Leicester Tigers

Enfield Independent: Mark McCall. Picture: Action Images Mark McCall. Picture: Action Images

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall believed the periods shortly before and after half-time were crucial in deciding the Men in Black’s 49-10 thrashing of Leicester Tigers.

Sarries scored a try just before the interval through Chris Ashton and just after through Billy Vunipola to take the score from 13-10 to 25-10.

It was one-way traffic thereafter as the home side wracked up another 24 points without reply to hand out Leicester’s largest ever defeat in the Premiership.

“That period just before half-time and just after half-time was critical,” McCall said.

“Because eight points wasn’t a great lead in those conditions but to win the second half and play the type of rugby we did was obviously very satisfying.”

He continued: “We had the use of the wind in the first half and eight points was a nervous enough lead for us, we felt we had played better than that.

“Obviously they got the charge-down try so the score just before half-time was important and then to score just after half-time as well was important.

“Every area of our game was good, we worked unbelievably hard all the way through, we were physical all the way through, we defended well when we had to so it was a really good team performance.”

Jack Wilson also crossed the line in the first period before further scores after the break from Jackson Wray, a penalty-try and a second try from Ashton wrapped up the victory.

McCall said: “It was good, there were times in the first half when we were hard to handle and I thought we blew a couple of really good chances in that first half period.

“We were creating though and there was a real appetite to get on the ball. We got some really quick ball because of how we carried and we were very clinical today.”

The only blemish in an otherwise superb afternoon for the Men in Black was Owen Farrell, who had to be carried off on a stretcher in the second period.

McCall was optimistic on the fly-half’s condition however after the match.

“Owen is fine. Obviously he’s got a bang on the head,” he said. “He’ll go through all the normal protocols but he’s fine.”

Farrell was also involved in a key moment in the match as Graham Kitchener was sin-binned for a late spear-tackle on the England number ten at the end of the first half.

Sarries took full advantage of the extra man and Leicester boss Richard Cockerill was extremely disappointed with the decision of referee Wayne Barnes.

McCall however thought Barnes got the call right.

“I watched it the way Wayne Barnes watched it,” he said. “To me it was late and he didn’t bring him down the way he should have and the yellow card was probably the minimum he should have got for that.”

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