Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall hailed his side’s “incredible achievement” after they completed a domestic and European double with a thrilling victory over Exeter in the Aviva Premiership final.
Sarries defeated the Chiefs 28-20 in front of 76,000 at Twickenham, to follow up their Champions Cup final triumph over Racing 92 and become the first English club for 12 years to achieve the double.
“It’s an incredible achievement by the playing group,” McCall told BT Sport 1. “For our players to back up the Champions Cup final and win the semi-final and win the final and play as well as they’ve done, it’s a remarkable achievement by everybody involved.”
First-half tries by Scotland centre Duncan Taylor and wing Chris Wyles helped open up a 17-point interval advantage, while England stand-off Owen Farrell kicked 13 points from both conversions and three penalties.
Exeter rallied magnificently after the break, claiming tries by substitute hooker Jack Yeandle and outstanding wing Jack Nowell, with skipper Gareth Steenson landing two conversions and two penalties.
It took Alex Goode’s 76th-minute touchdown to calm the nerves and settle matters in Saracens’ favour.
“They never give up – they’re an 80-minute team,” McCall said. “But we looked good when we had the ball.”
Man of the match and Premiership player of the season Goode savoured the “perfect” end to the campaign.
“I think when we set out we knew we had a special group, but to do what we’ve done is unbelievable,” he said. “We know they’re a top side. They’ve proved that all year. We’ve played them twice in very tight games and they’ve been neck and neck with us at the top of the league.
“They have a lot of quality in this side. But we just thought we needed to start well and came out with a bang, and we managed to put a lot of pressure on them. We were pretty clinical, taking points every time we got in their half. It was a brilliant first half from the boys.”
Captain Brad Barritt added: “It’s been a long journey for this team. After we did what we did in Lyon, there was a huge emphasis on making this season one to remember. To do the double is pretty special. It’s quite surreal at the moment – it’s been a huge driving force for this club.”