Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall highlighted the period when his side were down to 13 men as the crucial passage of play in Sarries’ bonus-point win over Wasps.

The match always had the feel of a showdown, with Saracens second in the Premiership and Wasps third before the game kicked off.

And the men from north London dealt with that pressure better as they surged into an 18-3 lead thanks to tries from Chris Wyles, Alex Goode and Schalk Burger.

Burger and Owen Farrell then both saw yellow, which allowed Wasps back into the game but when back to their full complement Sarries dominated once again, securing the win and cutting the gap to leaders Exeter to five points.

“I think in the first 25-30 minutes of the game it felt that we were controlling the gain-line and were difficult for them to handle during that period of time, scoring three good tries,” said McCall.

“It’s just frustrating that, as we’ve done a few times this season, we let that control slip. There were a couple of unnecessary penalties and all of a sudden we were down to 13 men and under a bit of pressure.

“That seven minutes just after half time, when we had to navigate our way through with two men down was an important part of the match, to stay three points ahead of them before Schalk and Owen came back was important.”

Sarries are now six points above Wasps in the Premiership table heading into back-to-back Champions Cup games against Ospreys and Northampton, with McCall targeting another big performance.

“We’ve had some good performances this season,” he added. “There have been games where we’ve played really well. Last week after the Worcester game I talked about our consistency and trying to back it up every week.

“It’s important that we do that against the Ospreys, that will be the biggest game of the season so far.”