Ashton scores in Saracens win

Date published: December 24 2016

Chris Ashton marked his return to action with a try as Saracens fought past Newcastle on Saturday, winning 21-6 at Allianz Park.

Newcastle were looking to continue their great league form and record a third straight Premiership win for the first time since 2009.

They got off to a good start with a penalty from Joel Hodgson opening the scoring. But from the restart Saracens earned themselves a penalty and Owen Farrell made no mistake from the tee to level the scores.

After some intense attacking pressure from the Falcons, they came away from the Sarries 22 with another three points to re-establish their lead.

Despite the great start from Dean Richards' side, it was Saracens who scored the scored the first try of the afternoon. A good maul set from Saracens saw Ben Spencer peel off and pop the ball out to Marcelo Bosch to break through the Falcons defence to dot down.

After some impressive attack from both sides, it was the hosts who continued to extend their lead with another Farrell penalty giving Mark McCall's men a 13-6 lead going into half-time.

The first major action of the second-half was the appearance of Ashton, who made his return to the field after a 13-week ban.

As the half wore on, the two sides seemed to be involved in a game of chess, with neither able to gain a significant advantage.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, a third penalty from Farrell took Saracens ten points clear and Newcastle out of losing bonus point range.

Sarries eventually sealed the win with their second try of the afternoon just four minutes from time. On his first game back from suspension, Ashton crossed the line after a neat move from Saracens backline to cap off a good all round performance from his side.

The win takes Saracens onto 42 points for the season, top of the table only on points difference with Wasps right on their heels.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Bosch, Ashton
Con: Farrell
Pens: Farrell 3

For Newcastle:
Pens: Hodgson 2

Saracens: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Nathan Earle, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 George Kruis, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Titi Lamositele, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Schalk Burger, 20 Joel Conlon, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Chris Ashton

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Fred Burdon, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Mark Wilson (c), 6 Callum Chick, 5 Evan Olmstead, 4 Calum Green, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers
Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Will Witty, 20 Opeti Fonua, 21 Sam Egerton, 22 Craig Willis, 23 Dominic Waldouck

Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff, Andrew Jackson
TMO: David Sainsbury

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