Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has vowed to end his side’s worrying slump after the defending champions suffered a brutal 46-17 hammering to Clermont Auvergne in Monday's rearranged European tussle.
In a repeat of last season’s European Champions Cup final, Clermont ran riot as winger Alivereti Raka scored a hat-trick, while Saracens were condemned to a sixth straight defeat across all competitions.
It was also a record home loss for Sarries, who missed 37 tackles in all, and the Allianz Park outfit are now second in Pool Two, four points adrift of Clermont but two clear of Ospreys in third.
“We’ve got enough good players and enough people that care about the club for us to respond in the right way to this period,” said McCall.
“What we just said in the changing room is that by the end of January we hope we can be proud of how we respond to this difficult situation.”
England hooker Jamie George echoed McCall’s sentiments. He said: “We need a response. We as players need to rectify those mistakes next week [the two teams meet again on Sunday]. We care about the club so much that we will find a solution.”
Clermont used words such as “absurd” and “an episode of amateurism” to describe the postponement of the clash between the two teams on Sunday, but took their frustrations out on Saracens in clinical fashion.
Raka was joined on the scoresheet by Flip van der Merwe, Wesley Fofana and Isaia Toeava.