We must banish Exiles loss

IT’S my objective to ensure Saracens don’t play as badly as they did against London Irish on the opening day of the season – and hopefully after last week’s win over Sale, the point has been made.

For reasons I still can’t explain, we played with a lack of intensity in all areas of the park against the Exiles a fortnight ago and, whether it be against Leeds or Leicester, you won’t win Premiership matches like that.

Against Sale last Sunday it was different. The boys increased the intensity to beat what was a good Sharks side. It was a good lesson learned.

I was particularly pleased for our new signing Deon Carstens, who claimed a well-deserved man-of-the-match award.

Deon only came into the starting XV after Rhys Gill picked up an injury in the warm-up, so to step in at the last minute and play like that is a real tribute to him.

Rhys, meanwhile, is to have an operation tomorrow and we wish him a speedy recovery.

WHIPPING

It was also encouraging to see David Strettle come off the bench to show what a world-class player he is. Stretts was always going to be handed a first start against Leeds Carnegie on Sunday anyway, and as you can imagine he’s champing at the bit.

It was also great to see Steve Borthwick back in a Saracens shirt and he too will make his first start of the season on Sunday, wearing the captain’s armband.

We have already learned this season that you can’t take your finger off the pulse if you’re going to win the Premiership, and we know we’re in for another tough game at Leeds.

They gave us a good whipping when we went up there last season, knocking us completely off our stride and if we’re not at the top of our game, they’re capable of doing the same. But I know our lads are up for this game and I can honestly say they’ll be no repeat of London Irish two weeks ago.

For tickets details on Saracens’ next home game against Northampton Saints on 26 September, call the ticket office on 01727 792800.