Planet Rugby

Saracens sweep Falcons aside

03rd November 2013 16:54

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David Strettle of Saracens scores a try

Two tries: David Strettle

Saracens extended their lead at the top of the Premiership standings with a 40-3 bonus-point victory over Newcastle at Allianz Park on Sunday.

Charlie Hodgson, making his first start since coming back from injury, scored 18 points in total, including a try, conversion and a penalty in the first half as Sarries went into the break 10-3 ahead.

The Falcons had dominated the opening 20 minutes but a Phil Godman three-pointer was their only reward in the opening period.

And Newcastle struggled to contain the hosts after the interval as David Strettle (twice), Jamie George and Alex Goode tries sealed a comfortable victory.

Despite having to field a weakened side due to the November internationals, the hosts were expected to comfortably dispatch Dean Richards' men.

However, they were given a fright in the early stages of the match as the newly-promoted outfit, who have enjoyed a solid start to the campaign, dominated possession and territory.

And with 14 minutes gone, Godman atoned for an earlier miss with a penalty that gave the visitors a deserved advantage.

Matt Stevens was then sent to the sin-bin as Mark McCall's side initially struggled to deal with the Newcastle forwards.

But they weren't on the back foot for long as Hodgson stepped his way over the line for an impressive try.

The fly-half added the conversion and then kicked a three-pointer as the hosts went into the break with a 10-3 lead.

Successive Hodgson penalties early in the second period opened the gap further before Alex Goode's grubber kick set up Strettle for another Sarries' touchdown.

George then crossed the whitewash from a dominant driving maul for the third try as Saracens went in search of the bonus-point.

That eventually came 12 minutes from time when Goode got his reward for an excellent individual performance before Strettle rounded off the scoring with his second of the afternoon.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Hodgson, Strettle 2, George, Goode
Cons: Hodgson 2, Goode
Pens: Hodgson 3
Yellow cards: Stevens

For Newcastle:
Pen: Godman

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Chris Wyles, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Mourtiz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements:16 Schalk Brits, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 George Kruis, 20 Jacques Burger, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Ben Ransom

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Ally Hogg (c), 7 Will Welch, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Dom Barrow, 4 Carlo del Fava, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 James Fitzpatrick

Venue: Allianz Park
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce and Andrew Pearce
TMO: Roy Maybank

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