RUGBY : Saracens boss Brendan Venter saluted his team’s “courage and determination” after they reeled off a seventh successive Guinness Premiership victory at Bath.
Saracens boss Brendan Venter saluted his team’s “courage and determination” after they reeled off a seventh successive Guinness Premiership victory at Bath.
The unbeaten leaders’ run of seven successive wins represents the best Premiership start to a season by any club since Newcastle claimed 12 on the bounce in 1997 but Saracens came desperately close to losing their 100% record, hanging on for a 12-11 verdict against struggling Bath at the Recreation Ground.
Venter said: “That game could have gone either way, but whatever the result, it wouldn’t have changed how courageous our approach was.”
He added: “Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong in the second half, but the guys kept going. It was courage and determination – they fought it out.”
Venter’s men looked to be in the driving seat at half-time, leading 12-3 through tries by flanker Andy Saull and wing Noah Cato.
But Bath, without a home victory in any competition since April last season, dug deep to guarantee a nerve-shredding climax when skipper Michael Claassens touched down three minutes from time.
Saracens, though, despite having substitute prop Rhys Gill sin-binned just before a nine-minute spell of injury time began, left the West Country with another four points.
Venter took issue with referee Chris White’s decision to yellow-card Gill, who was cautioned for appearing to knock the ball out of Claassens’ hands having not retreated 10 metres.
Venter added: “It was not a sin bin at all. They milked it, and you can lose a Premiership game like that.
“I spoke to Rhys afterwards, and he said he didn’t touch the Bath player.”