Saracens' Mark McCall says his side will react against Northampton Saints in next Saturday's Premiership final

Mark McCall says his side will react in next Saturday's Premiership final. Picture: Action Images

Mark McCall says his side will react in next Saturday's Premiership final. Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport

Mark McCall was 'proud' of his players after their Heineken Cup final defeat against Toulon on Saturday but says there is 'no question' his side will react accordingly against Northampton Saints in the Premiership final next Saturday.

An inspired performance from the soon-to-retire Jonny Wilkinson carried the Top 14 over the line, with the former England fly-half kicking 11 of Toulon's 23 points to retain the Heineken Cup.

Speaking to the club's website, McCall said: “Obviously we are disappointed, but we’re proud of the effort we put in – we did some good things today.

“One of the great qualities of the group is our ability to respond to setbacks that we’ve had. If we were playing Newcastle away next week I’d back our group to front up, never mind the fact we’re playing in the Premiership final – I’ve got no question whatsoever that we’ll give a good account of ourselves next Saturday," stated the Ulsterman.

Sarries were ahead early when Owen Farrell kicked a penalty but found themselves 10-3 down at half-time after Matt Giteau scored a try and Wilkinson added a further five points.

McCall felt Giteau's influence changed the course of the game: "I think we came up against an exceptional side today who were on top of their game. It seemed that in the first half they we gave as good as we got, we had a decent amount of field position during that time and they defended superbly well.

"They had one opportunity, a counter attack if we are honest, and a bit of genius from Matt Giteau and a bounce of the ball and somehow you’re seven points behind and didn’t feel that way," he added.

“I often felt that we were right in the game, we did well to get ourselves to 10-6, and even at 13-6 we thought that were massively still in the game but their second try was a killer."

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