Saracens beat Newcastle and rise to the top again

Maro Itoje is staying with Saracens until 2019

Saracens moved back to the top of the Aviva Premiership by beating Newcastle Falcons 3-38 at Kingston Park in the North East of England.

Exeter Chiefs had overtaken Saracens with their victory over Wasps but Saracens bonus point victory over Newcastle puts the London side back on top.

Saracens outscored Newcastle by four tries to none in the contest which earned them the bonus point.

Tries from Samu Vunisa, Nick Tompkins, Charlie Hodgson and Billy Vunipola sealed the five points for Saracens, as they destroyed a Falcons side still searching for their first win of the season.

It started superbly for Saracens, as debutant Vunisa opened his try scoring account just 10 minutes into his opening game.

A line-out five metres from the line saw the visitors band together to force Vunisa over the Falcons line. Five points turned to seven when Hodgson’s penalty went through via the post as Saracens started brilliantly.

Hodgson kicked a further three points 20 minutes in, as the visitors moved onto double figures and showed why they are league leaders at this early stage.

Falcons got off the mark minutes later courtesy of Tom Catterick’s penalty, after a rare home foray into the Saracens 22.

Neither side could really get much possession time, with the game stop start for much of the half. But right at the end of it, Saracens restored their 10 point advantage. Hodgson kicked through his second penalty of the afternoon to put his side into a commanding half-time position.

Seven minutes into the second-half and Mike Ellery almost went over for try number two, but a cross-field kick narrowly evaded his reach for what would have been a certain game clincher.

Hodgson continued his accuracy from the first-half into the second, and he condemned Falcons to another three points as the lead went up to 13.

62 minutes in, and that lead got bigger. The visitors, dominant all afternoon, got try number two through Tompkins. A break in the midfield saw Tompkins receive possession, and he crashed over to further punish Falcons.

Two extra points came through Hodgson, before two tries in the final minutes sealed a superb afternoon for the table toppers, as well as the bonus point.

The first of the late tries came from Hodgson, who capped his impressive kicking with five points more. It was standard Hodgson as he nipped in to rob the ball away, before making his way down field and leaping over.

In an attempt to hurry the game up, his conversion went wide of the posts. But it was ultimately the right decision to rush, because it provided that extra point.

Replacement number eight Vunipola went over four minutes into additional time, crashing over after a quick tap five metres from the line, with Falcons too busy searching for a consolation score.

And the conversion was good from Alex Goode on an afternoon where Saracens dismantled a Falcons side who have won just one Premiership game in 15.

Final Score Newcastle Falcons 3 (3) Saracens 38 (13)

Scorers

Newcastle Falcons
Tries –
Pen – Catterick
Con –
Drop –

Saracens
Tries – Vunisa, Tompkins, Hodgson, B Vunipola
Pen – Hodgson 4
Con – Hodgson 2, Goode
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee :Andrew Small (120th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Ross Campbell & Andy Watson
TMO: David Grashoff.

Teams

Newcastle Falcons

15 Alex Tait, 14 Belisario Agulla, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Tom Catterick, 9 Michael Young, 1 Rob Vickers, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Jon Welsh, 4 Sean Robinson, 5 Calum Green, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch, 8 Nili Latu

Replacements : 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Taione Vea, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Ally Hogg, 21 Sonatane Takulua 22 Craig Willis, 23 Chris Harris

Saracens

15 Alex Goode , 14 Mike Ellery , 13 Nick Tompkins , 12 Duncan Taylor , 11 Chris Wyles , 10 Charlie Hodgson , 9 Ben Spencer , 1 Richard Barrington , 2 Jamie George © , 3 Juan Figallo , 4 Maro Itoje , 5 George Kruis , 6 Jackson Wray , 7 Will Fraser , 8 Samuela Vunisa

Replacements : 16 Jared Saunders , 17 Mako Vunipola , 18 Petrus Du Plessis , 19 Michael Rhodes , 20 Billy Vunipola , 21 Neil De Kock , 22 Tim Streather , 23 Ben Ransom

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