Saracens boss Venter unhappy despite earning revenge over final opponents


FLY-HALF Derick Hougaard used his boot to great effect again as Saracens earned a measure of revenge for last season’s Premiership final defeat to Leicester.

First-half tries from Schalk Brits and Richard Wigglesworth, both converted by former Tigers man Hougaard, helped the home side go in 17-7 up at half-time. Hougaard’s lethal kicking then allowed Sarries to open up a 26-10 lead which would prove decisive, despite a Leicester try from Lucas Amorosino and the boot of Billy Twelvetrees.

Victory kept up Saracens’ healthy start to the campaign, leaving them third behind London Irish and Northampton, but director of rugby Brendan Venter was not happy at his side’s failure to secure a bonus point.

“I’m a bit deflated to be honest because we should have had them and finished the job much earlier,” said Venter. “Leicester were conceding penalties because we had the ball for sustained periods but we butchered a couple of sitters. We must learn to put teams away when we have outplayed them as much as we outplayed Leicester.”

Venter’s opposite number David Cockerill admitted his team had been outplayed and blamed it in part on absences due to injury and enforced resting of Elite Player Squad members. “I thought we had a team to win this game but having seen it I’ll take that losing bonus point,” said Cockerill. “We have a number of players missing and we’ve played Northampton, Wasps and Saracens – so when everyone comes back I’m convinced we will get better.”