Richards Compliments Clinical Saracens

Sunday 6 December 2015

Dean Richards admitted accuracy was the biggest differential as Saracens left Kingston Park with a 38-3 victory over Newcastle Falcons on Sunday.

The Aviva Premiership champions added a pair of tries in the last two minutes to record a bonus point, the Director of Rugby at pains to credit them for the efficient manner in which they went about their business.

Richards said: “It is frustration, really, because for 55 or 60 minutes we were in with a shout.

“We didn't have the accuracy that they had and we limited them to two tries up until the end, and felt from a territory point of view that we were on a par with them.

“Our accuracy wasn't quite there, and when you go two scores down and are chasing the game a little bit, that's when Saracens come into their own.”

Charlie Hodgson and Billy Vunipola crossed for a pair of quickfire tries to give the scoreline a more emphatic look, the Falcons' boss admitting: “Their accuracy in that final 15 minutes was outstanding, and they capitalised on any mistake we made. They're extremely good at that.

“We had said we needed to be in it going into the last 15 minutes, and we needed them to be making the kind of mistakes we ended up making. That was when we were pushing the game in the final 15 minutes, but sadly for us we found ourselves in that position.

“At 13-3 at half-time we were right in it, but when it became 23-3 going into the last 15 you have to go eyeballs-out to win. Saracens are very hard to break down, and when you look at what they are able to bring off their bench you begin to understand why they are where they are.

“Having said that, I thought our boys acquitted themselves well on the day. We just need that little bit more accuracy and to understand the consequences of one or two little mistakes.”

After a match littered with long exchanges of tactical kicking, Richards said: “For the purists they probably loved it, and for the guys who came to see open, flowing rugby, you never really get that from Saracens unless they put that pressure on a team right from the off.

“The way to beat Saracens is not to play open, flowing rugby from inside your own half, because they will hammer you. It is a case of playing a running game in the right areas, being more accurate than them, and today we just weren't quite accurate enough.

“They have a huge emphasis on their kicking game and are good at what they do. They could afford to sit back and wait for mistakes, which is what they did. On 78 minutes the scoreboard was probably a fairer reflection than at full time, but at the same time their accuracy was far greater than ours.

“It is effective, and the way we decided to play was to match them in that. You need to accurate, and we lacked that a little bit. Their kick-chase caused us problems but I was comfortable with a lot of what we did in the first half.

“It was when that 10-point cushion was pushed out that we had to chase things, and you have to give Saracens credit for that.”

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