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Mixed feelings for Mark McCall despite emphatic Saracens win

By PA
Saracens v Gloucester – Gallagher Premiership – StoneX Stadium

Despite his side recording a comfortable 46-24 victory over Gloucester, Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall admitted to having mixed feelings about his team’s performance.

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The result was never really in doubt at the StoneX Stadium, not least after Sarries winger Tom Parton completed a hat-trick after 20 minutes and 25 seconds, the earliest in Gallagher Premiership history.

The defending champions consolidated their position in the top four but ended the afternoon on a slightly negative note with some careless play allowing Gloucester to score three late tries.

McCall said: “He did great, Tom, and he’s been patiently waiting for an opportunity and certainly took that opportunity today, so there were some very good individual performances, some very good individual moments and some good team stuff.

“But we want to be a team who are better for longer during the 80 minutes and we’ve got to be honest about how we assess that performance.

“We made a number of really poor decisions in the last 10 minutes of the game which weren’t done for what the situation needed.

“They were just done for other reasons and it wasn’t just one decision, it was three or four.

“You want to be part of a team who are making decisions for the right reasons all the time and are not affected by the scoreboard.

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“That’s what the best players do and in the last 10 minutes we were guilty of not doing that.”

22m Entries

Avg. Points Scored
3.2
14
Entries
Avg. Points Scored
1.8
13
Entries

Saracens eased into a 22-0 half-time lead thanks to Parton’s hat-trick against a Gloucester side who made 11 changes from their European Challenge Cup quarter-final victory against the Ospreys.

Theo McFarland, Tom Willis, Olly Hartley and Lucio Cinti all crossed for Sarries in the second half, while 20-year-old Josh Hathaway claimed a hat-trick of his own for the Cherry and Whites, for whom Seb Blake also scored.

Gloucester head coach George Skivington said: “We weren’t accurate enough, probably, in the first 10 minutes.

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“We had three opportunities to execute some plays and we dropped the ball, so from that point of view there’s a good lesson there for how accurate you’ve got to be at this level.

“But I think their ability to stay in the fight – they never threw the towel in – and then to fight back and score four tries up here is pretty pleasing.”

On Hathaway’s hat-trick, he added: “We challenged Josh with a couple of bits around his game for today, but when you put the ball in his hands, he’s world-class and I think he’s scored a good few tries like that.

“He’s had a good few moments and obviously he’s in the deep end today and he’s come out and had three really good moments for us.”

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