Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has warned that his side are “determined” to win a third European Cup after their 32-16 Heineken Champions Cup semi-final victory over Munster Rugby in Coventry on Saturday.
The English club put in a terrific second–half performance to defeat the Irish province, with tries from flanker Mike Rhodes and No.8 Billy Vunipola, as well as 22 points from fly-half Owen Farrell, sealing victory.
That win puts them in a third Champions Cup final in the last four seasons and McCall admitted that his side are eager to atone for last year’s quarter-final defeat at the hands of defending champions Leinster Rugby.
“I thought we played really well,” said the 51-year-old. “Although the scoreboard read 12-9 at half-time, it didn’t feel like that. It didn’t necessarily reflect how well we had played.
The first semi-final certainly didn't disappoint 😍
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) April 21, 2019
“As a group, we are determined not to let this chance pass us by and we work incredibly hard to be involved in weeks like this and games like this.
“They [Munster] are a very impressive defensive team and hard to get any momentum against, but we managed to do that.”
Rhodes – who scored the first try of the match after 42 minutes – pinpointed the opening stages of the second half as the turning point after what had been a tense first period.
"They made us fight for everything."@J_George2 emphasises what a tough challenge that semi-final was 👇
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) April 20, 2019
“We just spoke about upping the intensity a bit as forwards – trying to work hard and raise the bar,” he revealed.
“It was good to do that in the second half and as Mark [McCall] alluded to, we felt that if we could keep on doing that, the defence would crack at some stage.
“It was good to get the points like that at the start of the second half.”