Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall bemoaned a poor second-half display against Leicester Tigers after losing 13-12 following a last-gasp penalty try.

Four Owen Farrell penalties saw Saracens leading 12-6 heading into the closing moments, with the Tigers’ points coming from the boot of George Ford.

However, after Saracens gave away a penalty which Ford kicked into the corner to attempt to score, referee Christophe Ridley awarded an 84th-minute penalty try after a rolling maul collapsed on the visitors' try line.

Thanks to their victory at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, Tigers sit top of the table with three victories from three while Saracens sit ninth following one win and one defeat in their opening two matches.

And while he was satisfied with the first-half performance, McCall acknowledged afterwards that the team will need to improve in future matches.

He said: “In the first half I thought we played well and had real control in the game which probably wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard. I enjoyed the first half performance but the second half was a different matter.

“We made individual mistakes and gave away too many penalties which cost the team in the second half, and we showed in the first half when we didn’t do those things how dominant we can be.”

McCall said his response would have been the same even if his side had held on to claim what looked to be a likely victory at some stages.

“Had we won the game we would have felt the same, that’s not the kind of performance that is going to take us very far in the Premiership so we need to act as a team.

“It’s disappointing of course but it’s a big, and early, lesson so fair play to Leicester for getting the win.”

Sarries are only just returning to the Gallagher Premiership after spending last season in the Championship, following their forced relegation as a punishment for salary cap infringements.

The loss came on the day it was announced the club was under new ownership after a £32m takeover from a consortium.

They will next be in action when they host Newcastle Falcons at the StoneX Stadium this Saturday.