Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gustard Salutes 'Greatest Defensive Display' as Burger Is King for a Day

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gustard Salutes 'Greatest Defensive Display' as Burger Is King for a Day

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones Rugby Correspondent

Amlin

DEFENCE coach Paul Gustard described Saracens' 46-6 destruction of Clermont as their greatest performance and then challenged his men to produce something even better in the Heineken Cup final.

Sarries turned their semi-final into a comprehensive victory achieved by a rock-solid defence that saw them put in 193 tackles compared to the French team's 56. They scored six tries -- with Chris Ashton scoring twice to create a tournament record of 11 -- despite having just 32 per cent of possession. Now they have to try to inflict the same suffocating display in the final against a Toulon team that defeated Munster 24-16 yesterday.

Gustard said: "Our defensive performance was as good as I have ever seen and the win was born out of great defensive work. We are proud to have made a first Heineken Cup final and ready for the challenge of facing Toulon. We are going to have step up our level again."

Gustard is the man behind Sarries' fabled 'Wolf Pack' defence and their leader on Saturday was Jacques Burger, who made 27 tackles and was named man of the match.

"I came up with the idea of the Wolf Pack and it has worked for us -- people hunting together in defence," said Gustard.

"Our players have really bought into it and we have merchandise on T-shirts and a King of Wolf Town for the top performer and that was Jacques against Clermont.

"He is a freak of nature and like a wolf -- raggedy looking , keeps hunting and ferocious when he's going for you. He is the most fearless and courageous player I have ever seen.

"Jacques puts his face where other people wouldn't put their hands and to come back from his horrific knee realignment was amazing but he loves the game so much. He has invented a new tackle -- the face tackle. …

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