Director of rugby Mark McCall disappointed with 'panicky' Saracens performance in 29-16 defeat to London Irish

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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall lamented his side's "panicky" performance against London Irish but refused to use his missing international players as an excuse for the 29-16 defeat.

Sarries were below-par throughout the match, as two Irish tries in the second half put the game beyond McCall's men despite a score from David Strettle in between.

The Men in Black looked as though they might get back into the match after Strettle's try and McCall was disappointed with how his players approached the second half tactically.

"I thought we were well-beaten today, London Irish played pretty well," McCall said.

"When we chased the game in the second half I think we made poor decisions and having got the game back to six points there was an opportunity there and I thought we looked a bit panicky."

The Sarries boss continued: "Against teams like Irish you're not going to win the game 70 metres away from their goal line and their second try came from us trying to keep the ball for a long period 60 metres away from their goal line.

"We made a mistake, they capitalised and the game is finished."

The Men in Black were without several key players who were away on Six Nations duty including Owen Farrell, Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt, Mako Vunipola and Kelly Brown but McCall refused to use the absentees as an excuse.

"This team played during the autumn internationals and this team played really well," McCall said.

"We had a good win against Wasps, a great win against Gloucester so we're not blaming that at all.

"We know our season, we know who is going to be away, we had a good team out and we didnt play well."

McCall admitted it was one of the most disappointing displays of the season but suggested he would stick with the players for next week's match against Exeter and give the team the chance to bounce back.

"We haven't had that many bad performances this season so the answer would be yes, it is one of the most disappointing," he said.

"We'll see if it's a one-off because we've got a very important game against Exeter next weekend.

"We're playing in our new stadium next weekend and this group have got a pretty good record of being good the week after a disappointment so we'll see, but there's plenty of work for us to do."

 

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