Mark McCall: We May Regret Mixed Champions Cup Campaign

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LEICESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 24: Mark McCall of Saracens during the Aviva Premiership match between Leicester Tigers and Saracens at Welford Road on December 24, 2017 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall believes his side could be left regretting the missed opportunity of defending their Champions Cup crown.

The north London side completely outplayed Northampton Saints in a 62-14 demolition. Requiring the bonus point victory to have a chance of progressing, Sarries’ fate is now left to other results.

“Regrets if we don’t make it through”

But McCall knows the odds are stacked firmly against his side making it through.

”It might leave us with a few regrets if we don’t make it through to the last eight”

”We could have played better last weekend but the Ospreys gave us a tough challenge.”

McCall added: “ Maybe that draw gets us in. Should we get through, we certainly won’t hold any fears to go away from home.”

Saracens will hold on to a glimmer of a hope of knockout rugby in the European competition. Their performance against Northampton duly highlighted the side’s ability to perform under pressure.

It all follows one of Sarries’ worst periods of form. But the previous few weeks have seen them get back to winning ways.

Pressure Situations

Mark McCall knows that progression in the competition won’t come lightly but the performance against the Saints was a statement of intent.

”That performance was the culmination of a brilliant six weeks. I’m incredibly proud of the players and staff.

”We had some really tough fixtures during that period and to play the way we did in a pressure situation was outstanding.

”It was the first time we’ve really been relentless all season. It was a sign of total control and domination.

”When we play like that we’re difficult to beat but it shows what we’re capable of.

”We proved that against Wasps. Even at Clermont, so we’d just be thrilled to stay in the competition.”

Waiting Game

Mark McCall and his Saracens team will have to wait until Sunday evening to learn of their fate.

If their 18 points sees them qualify for an away quarter final, they may just have that tenacity and determination we saw against the Saints to help them to a third consecutive European title.

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