Sunday 25 September 2016

Director of Rugby Mark McCall lauds Saracens' European and domestic double as 'incredible'

Published 28/05/2016 | 18:23

Charlie Hodgson and Mark McCall, Director of Rugby celebrate victory in the Aviva Premiership final match between Saracens and Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham Stadium on May 28, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Charlie Hodgson and Mark McCall, Director of Rugby celebrate victory in the Aviva Premiership final match between Saracens and Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham Stadium on May 28, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall hailed his side's "incredible achievement" after they completed a domestic and European double with a thrilling victory over Exeter in the Aviva Premiership final.

  • Go To

Sarries defeated the Chiefs 28-20 in front of 76,000 at Twickenham, to follow up their Champions Cup final triumph over Racing 92 and become the first English club for 12 years to achieve the double.

"It's an incredible achievement by the playing group," McCall said on BT Sport 1.

"For our players to back up the Champions Cup final and win the semi-final and win the final and play as well as they've done, it's a remarkable achievement by everybody involved."

First-half tries by centre Duncan Taylor and wing Chris Wyles helped opened up a 17-point interval advantage, while fly-half Owen Farrell kicked 13 points from both conversions and three penalties.

Exeter rallied magnificently after the break, claiming tries by substitute hooker Jack Yeandle and outstanding wing Jack Nowell, with skipper Gareth Steenson landing two conversions and two penalties.

It took Alex Goode's 76th-minute touchdown to calm the nerves and settle matters in Saracens' favour.

"They never give up - they're an 80-minute team," McCall said. "But we looked good when we had the ball. Great achievement to get over the line.

"For us to finish top of Premiership with 80 points and win the Champions Cup, then win today - it's an amazing achievement."

Man of the match and Premiership player of the season Goode savoured the "perfect" end to the campaign.

"I think when we set out we knew we had a special group, but to do what we've done is unbelievable," he said. "To do it with such an incredible group is a perfect way to end the season.

"We know they're a top side. They've proved that all year. We've played them twice in very tight games and they've been neck and neck with us at the top of the league.

"They have a lot of quality in this side. But we just thought we needed to start well and came out with a bang, and we managed to put a lot of pressure on them. We were pretty clinical, taking points every time we got in their half. It was a brilliant first half from the boys."

Captain Brad Barritt added: "It's been a long journey for this team. I'm pleased for our supporters, directors, coaches and all the players, who have made a huge contribution in this Premiership season.

"After we did what we did in Lyon, there was a huge emphasis on making this season one to remember. To do the double is pretty special.

"It's quite surreal at the moment - it's been a huge driving force for this club."

Press Association

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport