Withy head coach speaks about the win at Exeter Saracens
PUBLISHED: 11:52 23 October 2019
Withycombe head coach Sam Williams was delighted with his sides 24-21 win at Exeter Saracens.
He said: "It really was a fantastic game played with passion by both teams throughout the match. Both sides enjoyed spells of dominance and showcasing different strengths. But then we also saw areas on which we need to work and develop."
He continued: "They (Saracens) started very well and showed us that we will need to improve certain areas of our defensive play and we certainly need to keep our feet firmly planted if we do not want to be caught cold.
"I am sure that Sarries will point to unfortunate injuries to key players, but we too suffered with the health of Rory and the loss of Paddy to a red card which left us playing most of the second half with 14 men."
As for trailing at the break, the Withy head coach said: "With us being on the front foot and so close to scoring just before the break, we knew at half-time that there was no need to panic, but there was a need to refocus and get back to ensuring we did the things we know we are good at. "The rise in physicality in the second half was significant. There was a significant impact given to us by the chances we made and we were really able to put Saracens under the pump in the second period."
He continued: "Whilst the last try had an element of fortune with the ball sitting up nicely for Jimmy, we were playing advantage and perhaps we would have found our way to the line regardless. That said the score line reflected the closeness of the game."
With regard to the closeness of the game, Williams said: "It was suggested to me post match that we were 'lucky' to win, but I argued the point that to overturn a 14 point deficit with 14 players is more of a testament to the resilience of the group and much of that was developed during the bleak times of last season.
"The boys have worked hard since pre-season and, whilst we must improve on many areas of performance, the all-round shift at Saracens demonstrated the desire in the group to do well for themselves, each other, and the club as a whole."
Last, but not least, the head coach added: "As a final note I wanted to acknowledge that this was a full 20 man effort, but also to mention the leadership of Liam, both in performance and attitude. He was outstanding on Saturday, as he has been all season so far and is growing in his role weekly."