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Leicester 15:00 London Irish

Scrum the key for Saracens

By Ben Blackmore.   Last Updated: 10/10/05 3:17pm

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Brian Smith and Steve Diamond were in agreement that the scrum was where the game was won and lost at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Saracens comfortably overcame the Exiles to end their hopes in the competition, and Irish coach Smith admitted he was disappointed in his side's display.

"Give Saracens their due - they bullied us at the scrums on their own put in," said Smith.

"But the most disappointing thing was that we played a lot of rugby but lacked any finish and composure.

"First and foremost it's a physical game but I don't think we competed in that area as much as we needed to."

Sarries boss Diamond had plenty more reason to be happy, after his side responded superbly to last week's defeat in Cardiff.

And Diamond had special praise for prop Cobus Visagie, who was crucial in the scrummaging department.

"Our forward pack hadn't turned up since the game against Leeds and we were delighted with what we did," said the Saracens coach.

"Cobus is a very good tight head, the scrum is still a big area of the game and we knew if we got in the right positions we'd get the best out of him.

"The lads have stayed positive because we know that when we get it right - dominating at the set pieces from the right field positions - we can win games."

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