Heineken Cup: Saracens director Mark McCall relieved at Connacht win

Last Updated: 12/10/13 7:20am

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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was satisfied after his side escaped with a thrilling yet nervy 23-17 Heineken Cup victory over Connacht at the Sportsground on Friday.

The Aviva Premiership leaders had several close calls late on, with Connacht duo Aly Muldowney and Paul O'Donohoe both going close to scoring late tries.

And McCall said: "It's an important four points. It was a tough and physical game so I am just happy to come here and take the points.

"Fair play to Connacht, they kicked just about everything tonight and found space in our back field. They put us under real pressure when they got their tries and got a real energy from that.

"We did not cope with that all that well. We had started the game great and at the starts of the second half had a couple of chances which we didn't take, but they defended bravely and had that chance at the end, so I am just grateful to come away with a result.

"I thought our team had a lot of energy and there was no lack of effort or urgency, but we didn't do well with our kicking game and most of the pressure of the game came from that area, so I am just happy to come here and get a result.

"We know it's a difficult place."

Connacht head coach Pat Lam felt referee Pascal Gauzere's refereeing was a little inconsistent.

"There were big calls at crucial times," he said. "But I am so proud of my team, particularly up front, where the boys were massive.

"There was no doubt that some of the calls were right, but it's just consistency.

"To get a penalty against us for holding on and, in that last play of the game, going for a win, if you take a look at the video and have a look at how many (Saracens) guys are offside, in from the side - all the things we were penalised for.

"That's what I struggle with, it really hurts me because I feel for our team. Those guys have given everything and they deserve better."

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