Mark McCall: Saracens reaction to Wasps loss is crucial

Mark McCall
Mark McCall has led Saracens to two Premiership titles

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall says how his squad react to their heavy defeat by Wasps will be crucial as the club are in a "challenging period".

The Premiership leaders conceded three tries in the first eight minutes and eight in total as they were beaten 64-23 at Allianz Park on Sunday.

"We didn't see it coming and it's hard to put into words what happened out there," he told BBC Radio London.

"This is a very big setback. The important thing is what happens next."

Saracens conceded the most points at home in their history as they suffered just their second defeat of the season.

"It went wrong right from the beginning and we were given a real lesson by Wasps with and without the ball," McCall added.

"When you concede 60 points, there is clearly an issue. Every time they got down our end they came away with a try.

"We have shown some real energy and resilience in the last couple of performances but that, as a collective, wasn't the case against Wasps."

Charles Piutau scores for Wasps
Charles Piutau was one of three Wasps players to score a brace of tries against Saracens on Sunday

Saracens had seven players on Six Nations duty with England in Italy, but McCall declined to blame international commitments for their defeat.

"This squad we played with had a great result at Exeter last week, so we are not going to use that as an excuse," the 48-year-old said.

"This is a challenging period, no question about that.

"Next week we play against a team on form in Gloucester. It is important we put some of the really bad things right."

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