Saracens boss McCall plays down Farrell flashpoint

Mark McCall NNL-140803-150808006
Mark McCall NNL-140803-150808006

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall described Owen Farrell’s clash with England team-mate Tom Wood during Saturday’s game at Franklin’s Gardens as ‘handbags’.

Saints were leading 3-0 when Farrell reacted to a late tackle from Wood by shoving the flanker in the face.

Referee Luke Pearce reviewed the incident, but opted against reversing the penalty given against Wood.

Farrell went on to land it, to a backdrop of boos from the Gardens faithful, and proceeded to kick another three penalties to earn a 12-6 win for his team.

McCall said: “It looked like handbags to me, and not too serious.

“It was a brilliant away performance; we ended up dominating the game and controlled the last 25 minutes. We defended magnificently and I am chuffed to bits we got the win.”

But Saints boss Jim Mallinder was disappointed with Pearce’s decision.

He said: “It’s clear for everyone to see. You can’t go pushing people in the face.

“It’s retaliation and it should have been reversed.”

And Saints lock Christian Day said: “It’s difficult to understand why it wasn’t overturned, but that’s the referee’s job, not mine.

“I’m sure the citing officers or whoever will look at every occasion in the game and go over that and if something comes out of it, it comes out of it.

“It’s the referee’s choice, it’s not for me to say - my job is to play rugby on the pitch.”