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Saracens boss Mark McCall praises team's returning internationals after 15-10 win over Sale Sharks
Updated 10:41am Monday 17th February 2014 in Sport
Saracens boss Mark McCall hailed his returning international stars as they inspired the Men in Black to a 15-10 win over Sale Sharks.
Mako Vunipola, Duncan Taylor, Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton, Alex Goode and Kelly Brown all came back from Six Nations duty and the win came as a welcome boost for Sarries who had suffered a surprise defeat to London Irish the week before.
"For the returning internationals, it's not easy to come from one environment to another," he said.
"It tells you a lot about our club that Brad Barritt, Mako Vunipola, Chris Ashton, Duncan Taylor, Kelly Brown and Alex Goode can come back and perform the way they did tonight.
"They showed a real class but also desire to play for Saracens and it's to their credit."
McCall singled out the way his half-backs controlled the game and was pleased how his team came from behind in the second half.
"I thought that Charlie Hodgson, Richard Wigglesworth and Neil de Kock controlled the game beautifully.
"After a six-day turnaround, to come up to Sale is a difficult ask and I thought that we were deserved winners.
"I thought that we played well in the first half and deserved to be up at half-time but we weren't.
"What we did this time around was show a lot of composure and patience in the second half."
Sale's director of rugby Steve Diamond admitted that they were beaten by the better team.
Although a Marc Jones' try had put them in command, they couldn't sustain it and the Sharks succumbed to their seventh Premiership defeat of the campaign.
Diamond said: "They probably handled the weather a little bit better than us. Overall, I'm reasonably happy as we managed to get six points out of these last two games.
"I think they showed their experience in the second half by kicking the ball behind us all the time and we struggled to get out of our 22.
"There were a few decisions early doors that went our way, he probably should have yellow carded Quates (Mark Cueto) for tackling the guy without the ball, but equally there was a high tackle which wasn't seen for us.
"But the decisions didn't go our way in the last 20 minutes, I think the penalty count was 14-6 in the whole game which is disappointing, so we'll have to work on our discipline a bit more."
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