Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall pleased with battling spirit after win over Gloucester
Last Updated: 02/12/12 11:51pm
Mark McCall: Delighted with battling Saracens win over Gloucester
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall praised his side's battling qualities after they held on to record a 28-23 victory over Gloucester despite a late surge from their opponents.
Fly-half Charlie Hodgson kicked 23 points for Sarries on his return to action after four weeks out with a fractured cheekbone, while Richard Wigglesworth scored their only try as they returned to second place in the Premiership.
Gloucester, who had two players sin-binned during the game, replied with tries from prop Dan Murphy and flanker Akapusi Qera, while Billy Twelvetrees kicked their other 13 points.
McCall picked out late replacement Nick Auterac for particular praise after the 20-year-old played a crucial role in the scrum as Saracens held off the Gloucester onslaught.
"The team showed a lot of character today," said McCall.
"We brought on Nick, who hasn't much Premiership experience, for a couple of scrums on our line, so maybe it wasn't the kindest thing I've ever done to him.
"But that last scrum was amazing. He's a really talented kid who's come through our academy. We're well blessed with looseheads and Nick is going to be the future."
Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies felt his side were unlucky to lose a close contest.
"It could have gone either way at the end. There were a couple of big calls that the referee had to make. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't," he said.
"I was pleased with the way my team stuck to their task. We ended up outscoring Saracens two tries to one, which is no mean feat here.
"This team are working for each other, which is really important. There were areas of our game I wasn't particularly pleased with but we know we're a work in progress."