Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall says his side need to learn lessons from Sunday’s last-gasp defeat to London rivals Harlequins.

The north-London club looked well in control of the match throughout, following Brad Barritt’s try inside two minutes and Owen Farrell’s early penalty.

The England fly-half’s boot kept Quins at arm’s length but two tries from Charlie Walker got the visitors back in it, before Tim Visser’s late winner settled the game 20-19.

McCall was left to rue his side’s mistakes: “It’s incredibly disappointing to lose a game that we should have won - we chucked it away to be honest.

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“We put a huge amount of energy and effort into the game and got ourselves into a winning position, but it was wasted effort in the end.

“We gave away some terrible penalties all game but particularly in the last 15 minutes when we didn’t need to.

“We just needed to be bright and smart in in what we did and our decision making around the breakdown.

“We’ve been in winning positions the last three weeks and had a lot of experienced players on the field today.

“We’ve got to learn lessons from it, this one was different from the other two because we really were the masters of our own downfall.

“Being eight points up with nine minutes to go, with Harlequins under a bit of pressure; so it’s just disappointing to lose a game in the manner we did.”

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Despite the defeat, McCall’s men are third in the Aviva Premiership but do now trail current champions Exeter Chiefs by nine points.

The director of rugby is awaiting news on a facial injury to Maro Itoje, but is feeling confident ahead of a European double-header against Clermont Auvergne.

“We’re okay,” McCall added. “We’re third in the Premiership, top of our Champions Cup pool and have got some big games coming up, starting with Clermont at Allianz Park.”