It was important for us to bounce back from our disappointing performance down at Exeter last week and after a detailed review on Monday morning, we had a productive week of training in the build up to the Saracens game.
All the lads were looking forward to playing our first competitive league game in the new stadium and it certainly met our expectations! The pitch was in great condition and there was a real buzz around the stadium from the spectators.
Saracens are one of the toughest teams in the premiership, so it was vital for us that we got a good start. The first half showed the physicality of both teams and after some good scrambling defence and a great kick chase from Richie Vernon, we went in at half-time 12-9 down.
We knew the threat of Charlie Hodgson's goal kicking, so we had to make sure our discipline in the second half improved. We started the second forty with great urgency and attitude; this was reflected in our defence, especially amongst the forwards and our centre pairing of Sammy and Jonny. From this, we forced an error and it was picked up by Will Addison who raced in under the posts. Danny converted which put us ahead by two points.
The crowd really got behind us and showed the type of atmosphere that can be created at our new stadium. This helped us massively especially when we came under some heavy pressure from a strong Sarries attack.
Unfortunately our line was broken on 60 minutes by Chris Ashton, taking the score to 16-20. We battled back well but couldn't break them down with the score finishing 16-23.
Overall we were disappointed we didn't get the win, but our performance was a huge step in the right direction and our attitude was brilliant. There is still plenty for us to work on and we will look to address those issues this week in our preparation for our next game away at last season's champions, Harlequins.
By Rob Miller - @robmiller89 on Twitter
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