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Alan Gaffney
Inpho/Billy Stickland
Gaffney's Saracens Almost There
4 April 2007, 11:28 pm
By Pat Geraghty
Following their bonus point 33-19 win over Harlequins at Vicarage Road, in front of the biggest crowd of the day (12,500) Alan Gaffney's Saracens are just one game off a place in the play-offs.
As things stand Saracens are in third place on 63 points, two points clear of London Wasps and three ahead of Bristol in fifth place . Bristol however have a game in hand and that is against leaders Leicester Tigers at Ashton Gate on Tuesday. Given that the Tigers will likely rest most if not all of those involved in the Heineken Cup, Bristol could move to third after that clash.

Saracens' last game is away to relegation threatened Worcester while the other threats to Gaffney's ambitions - Bristol and London Wasps - are away to Gloucester and Leicester respectively.

But Gaffney although warning there is no margin for error, is happy to be where he is. "The main thing is we're in control of our own destiny - we don't have to rely on anybody else. That's a fantastic position to be in".

Nor is he looking beyond the game at Sixways on April 28th, "We're not even thinking about the play-offs yet. Worcester are playing for their lives and that game will be a really tough ask. We said we'd start the season slowly and become stronger. The game against Harlequins was always going to be a tough game - people thought we'd win comfortably but I knew better.

"The play-off situation is simple - if we want it enough we will achieve."

Saracens had opened an early 11-point lead after an attacking opening 20 minutes saw Kris Chesney cross for a try to add to two Glen Jackson penalties. Harlequins struck back with two tries from Connacht bound Mel Deane and Tom Williams to put Sarries' play-off hopes in jeopardy.

But a confident second-half display saw the home side cross for three tries and claim both a vital victory and a precious bonus point.

Gaffney will now turn his attention to Europe and the Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Bath next Sunday.

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