Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall admits Chris Ashton's dismissal had a hand in Exeter's match-winning try

Exeter celebrate their match-winning try

Exeter celebrate their match-winning try

First published in Sport by

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall appeared to blame winger Chris Ashton for his side's 14-12 defeat against Exeter Chiefs - before later clarifying his comments.

Ashton was sin-binned in the second half for a foolish shoulder charge into a maul and the Chiefs took full advantage, with Sireli Naqelevuki scoring a decisive try down Ashton's wing.

A clearly disappointed McCall had some harsh words to say about Ashton's actions immediately after the match.

He told ESPN: "I didn't have a good view of what Chris did, but it was a rash act and the consequences can be pretty big in a game like that.

"They scored a try down his wing and ultimately it cost us the game."

When pressed about his comments though later, McCall insisted his statement had been misconstrued.

"I didn't say that - that's not what I said," McCall explained.

"I said the fact they scored a try when we were down to 14 men cost us the game, I didn't say Chris cost us the game.

"Chris has been absolutely great since he's been at the club. It's very east for the press to seek some sort of headline."

The Saracens coach added: "You can't afford to come to a place like Sandy Park and lose two men to the sin bin and on top of that we gave away a number of penalties which had consequences for the match."

Ashton has had an eventful week after he was attacked in a London nightclub after Saracens' match against Leicester.

The club were keen to emphasise however that the England winger was out with his girlfriend and was not the instigator of the incident.

 

 

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