So, I read a Tweet the other day that described Saracens as 'one of the best non-Test teams of the era'. This tweet
wasn't from some fez-wearing Saracens season ticket holder either, it was from Stephen Jones, chief Rugby writer at The Times no less. It made me annoyed, and also a bit sad. I'll elaborate. Firstly, how do you define an era?? Is it a year long, five years, ten years??? Who knows?!? But to describe a team that have won only one European title in any of those time periods seemed like high praise to me. Sure they're good, but are they worthy of that level of reverence yet?!? I'd say not. Toulon won three in a row remember.
Secondly, and this is my main point, the current pundit and journalist love affair with Saracens makes me a little bit sad and also is the reason that i think we in the Northern Hemisphere have such problems against our cousins from the South. They're entire game is built on defence, and that's not a bad thing, every team needs a good defence but it's the pride that they seem to take in nulifying opponents and strangling games that really narks me. This whole 'wolf pack' thing.
They can play great, expansive, open rugby, as they proved in the Aviva final against Bath. The blitz defence has become their defining characteristic, and i can't help but think that any Southeren Hemisphere team, that had achieved the success that Saracens have would never have put such an emphasis on defence, but would rather win games by attacking and trying to score tries. I'd rather watch that, i think most people would rather watch that, unless you ask anyone from the Saracens Supporters Club i'm sure.
I will be honest, i've only ever seen one of their games live, it was at Wembley, against Leicester and was honestly one of most boring 80 minutes of rugby i've ever had the displeasure of sitting through. But hey, the ticket was free.