Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall believes his side can take pride in their grittiest showing yet after they ended a turbulent week with a 21-12 win over Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm.

Tries from Nick Tompkins and Ben Earl, alongside a starring role from Manu Vunipola, ensured McCall’s men overcame a stubborn Gloucester effort, securing their first win at Kingsholm since October 2015.

The result gave Saracens a glimmer of positivity at the end of a week in which they were docked 35 points and fined more than £5million for breaching Premiership salary cap rules – a ruling that they have appealed – and McCall was quick to heap praise on his side’s response on the field.

“Over the past four weeks the squad have been amazing,” McCall said.

“Everybody knows how many players we have unavailable and the three performances before this one were grit and full of toughness, and I think we took grit and toughness to a whole new level today and it was a performance we can be proud of.

“I thought it was quite a quiet crowd today all things considered, but that's down to how the players performed.”

The victory moved Saracens up to third in the table, but they face an anxious wait for news on their appeal against the punishment.

The club has come in for strong criticism across the board over the past seven days however, according to McCall, a strong team unity has pulled the squad together with everyone itching to put matters behind them and return to a sense of normality on the pitch.  

He added: “The decision [salary cap sanctions] came out and on Tuesday we talked about how everybody felt about it.

“There's a lot of questions that we need to answer internally about different scenarios, but we said from the get-go that all we can do is get on with the rugby and get on with getting the best out of this group.

“I couldn't be more proud of a group of staff and group of players who genuinely came together this week and they showed that unity on the field today.”