Saracens scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth has hailed his side’s battling qualities, after they came from behind to win 22-15 at Ospreys in Round 5 of the Heineken Champions Cup last weekend and kept their hopes alive of qualifying for the last eight.
The defending champions hit back after the fourth-minute sending-off of prop Rhys Carre to see off the Welsh region with a try from wing Alex Lewington and 17 points from the boot of fly-half Manu Vunipola.
“It’s a brilliant feeling – I’m really proud of the group,” the 36-year-old told Saracens’ official website. “We obviously have to make changes in this competition and we talked about we weren’t giving it up, but it’s one thing to say it and it’s another to back it up.
“That’s testament to the group that we backed it up, had a good week and finished it off well. Obviously, when you go down to 14, and 13 men at times, it just makes it all the more sweet.
“There aren’t many places that have got this, are there? We’ve seen teams capitulate. You come back in at half-time down to 13 men, you concede and go behind. I’m telling you 90% of teams laugh it off and get beat. You get beat easy and then there’s an easy excuse.
“This group full of young Saracens lads didn’t do that. They said ‘no, I’m going to stick in this fight and get after it’ and we actually were pretty dominant in the second half in terms of territory and where we played the game. It was a brilliant win and made up for the lads.”
Wigglesworth had special praise for Lewington, who leapt high to catch a kick from the scrum-half in the second half and score the decisive try.
“Lewy’s gone through the roof with his chasing for us,” said the England international. “He’s unbelievably committed.
“Manu called it, he wanted it and I was under a lot of pressure and hacked half of them, but that one came off nicely.
“When you’ve got wingers like we have who are desperate to go and get the ball back and make a difference, it makes my life a lot easier.”
Saracens host Pool 4 winners Racing 92 in Round 6 on Sunday with the chance of progressing into the quarter-finals with a bonus-point win.