Saracens 17 - 16 Northampton

Match info: Premiership at Stadium MK

Date: 30/12/2012 KO: 14:15 Att: 18,856

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Saracens

TriesSmit (7)PenaltiesHodgson (11, 15) Farrell (61, 67)

17
vs
16

Northampton

TriesDowson (24)ConversionsMyler (24)PenaltiesMyler (38, 48, 59)

FT (ht: 11-10)

  • Last Updated: December 30 2012, 17:32 GMT

Relieved Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall insisted the intervention of the woodwork led to the correct result in the 17-16 Aviva Premiership victory over Northampton at Stadium MK.

McCall: Felt Sarries were value for their win
McCall: Felt Sarries were value for their win

Saints fly-half Stephen Myler struck the crossbar with the final kick of the match to ensure Saracens held on for a win that restores them to second place in the table.

It was a valiant attempt from Myler taken five metres from inside his own half, but McCall felt it was the right outcome in light of Saracens' superiority.

"Of course it would have been a sick feeling to lose it at the end," McCall said.

"Sometimes you lose and that is fine but when you are on top, like we felt we were on top, it would have been disappointing.

"At the same time sometimes that is your own fault, if you have got ahead of yourselves and not done things quite right.

"I felt the same as everyone else felt. It was out of our hands. We knew it was a very difficult kick. It was an unbelievable strike in fairness.

"He had his kicking boots on today, didn't he? So we are grateful to have come away with a narrow victory."

Northampton had fought back after slipping 11-0 behind by scoring 16 unanswered points through a try from flanker Phil Dowson and 11 points from fly-half Myler.

Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder was unimpressed by the performance of referee JP Doyle.

"I've already had a little look at the penalties on replay and the majority of those early on were probably just," he said.

"But the referee's got to be consistent and if he's going to penalise Dylan Hartley for going off his feet, quite rightly, he's got to do Brad Barritt at the end of the game as well. It's the same offence."

The result drops Saints to sixth in the Premiership, two points adrift of the play-offs, but Mallinder remains bullish over their chances of returning to the title mix.

"The lads gave everything and it was a tremendous effort from them. I'm very proud. It went down to the wire, we just didn't get the bounce of the ball," he said.

"We'd like to be top of the league like every single club, but we're realistic and know that we haven't played as well as we'd have liked in every game.

"But we also know that we're a good side and today proved that. There's not a lot in the top teams. Even though we're in mid-table, we're not out of the running.

"There were will be a few people that have written us off. We quite like that and there's a long way to go. We're looking forward to the second half of the season."


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