Saracens players 'showed faith in club', says McCall after winning promotion to Premiership

Saracens players celebrated
Saracens finished second in the Championship table at the end of a shortened season, five points behind Ealing
Saracens (10) 57
Tries: Mako Vunipola, Koch, Daly, George, Tompkins, Lewington, Penalty try, Whiteley. Cons: Farrell 4, Manu Vunipola 2 Pen: Farrell.
Ealing (10) 15
Tries: Penalty try, Burns Pen: Willis.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall thanked his players for “showing faith in the club” after his side earned promotion back to the Premiership.

Sarries beat Ealing Trailfinders 57-15 in the second leg of their Championship play-off final to add to their 60-0 first-leg win.

Saracens were relegated for repeated salary cap breaches last season.

“We were in crisis mode around November 2019 and anything could have happened to the club,” said McCall.

“But the unity and togetherness helped get us through. We get back into the Premiership with many of the same players who have stuck by us and showed faith in the club.”

The London outfit were already in the Premiership in all but name after their thumping first-leg win, but they were held 10-10 at half-time at StoneX Stadium.

Three tries immediately after the restart propelled McCall’s side to an emphatic victory, although the win was marred by a red card for Michael Rhodes, who was playing his last game after seven years at Sarries.

Saracens’ Lions roar

Elliot Daly scoring for Saracens
British and Irish Lion Elliot Daly scored just after the restart

“It feels good. It’s been a long 18-20 months and we’ve looked forward to this day,” added McCall. “Now that it’s happened it’s great.

“The players have relished the challenge of getting the club back up. I’ve been especially thrilled with the way the international guys have performed and shown real commitment and desire to carry on with Sarries.”

All five of the club’s British and Irish Lions, including England captain Owen Farrell, started and were replaced in the 54th minute.

By then Saracens were in control as tries from Vincent Koch and two of Warren Gatland’s Lions – Elliot Daly and Jamie George – in the space of 10 minutes at the start of the second half had pulled them clear.

Sarries had fallen behind in the first minute of the game after conceding a penalty try, but they were ultimately too good for their opponents.

Mako Vunipola had powered over following a line-out for Saracens’ first-half try as the sides went in level at the break.

And after their early second-half burst, the three-time European Champions Cup winners added further tries through Nick Tompkins and Alex Lewington before they forced a penalty try from a scrum with nine minutes left.

Tom Whiteley then touched down late on for Sarries as they completed a 117-15 aggregate win.

Saracens: Goode; Lewington, Daly, Tompkins, Maitland; Farrell, Davies; Mako Vunipola, George, Koch, Itoje, Swinson, Wray, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Woolstencroft, Adams-Hale, Clarey, Hunter-Hill, Christie, Whiteley, Manu Vunipola, Taylor.

Ealing: Johnstone; Daniels, Bodilly, Howard, Kernohan; Willis, Hampson; Whyte, Malton, Millar Mills, De Wee, Casson, Al-Jiboori, Thompson, Smid.

Replacements: Van Vuuren, Gibbons, Thiede, Linsell, Uzokwe, Burns, Johnston, Dugmore.


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