Saracens - Falcons grounded by five try Sarries

Mar 05, 2017

Falcons grounded by five try Sarries


Saracens ran in five tries to beat Newcastle Falcons 35-27 in a highly entertaining afternoon of Aviva Premiership Rugby at Kingston Park.

Michael Rhodes opened the try scoring for Saracens whilst Alex Lozowski went over for a brace of tries - wings Chris Ashton and Nathan Earle also crossed the whitewash for the north Londoners as they came away from the north East with five points.

In his comeback game Billy Vunipola lasted 72 minutes and showed glimpses of his quality with a series of strong carries in an impressive display after recovering ahead of schedule from a knee injury.

Vunipola lined up alongside his brother Mako in the Saracens starting XV against Newcastle, who had only lost once at their home ground this season.  The Falcons have won many admirers for their cavalier approach to the game at Kingston Park, and with some Pacific Island stardust sprinkled in their backline Saracens’ famed defence was tested throughout. Sinoti Sinoti and Vereniki Goneva were constant threats, as was their scrum-half Sonatane Takulua.

Takulua opened the scoring with a penalty kick after Saracens knocked on at the restart, and at the resulting scrum the Falcons won the penalty. Saracens levelled the scores up minutes later with an Alex Lozowski penalty before Michael Rhodes crossed for the games first try. Rhodes, who was once again packing down in the uncustomary lock-forward position due to Sarries depleted second row stocks, cheekily collected a Takulua pass on the Falcons try-line to score in his 50th appearance for the north Londoners.

The Falcons reduce Sarries lead through another Takulua penalty and the Newcastle scrum-half nearly finished off a fine counter-attacking move started form their pocket-rocket centre Juan Pablo Socino only for a last-gasp challenge from Sean Maitland to force the Tongan international into a mistake.

It was a shot across Saracens bows, and Mark McCall’s side started to up the ante and went close to scoring a second try when Chris Ashton chipped ahead only for the prolific wing to fumble the ball as he looked to regather.

Saracens wouldn’t have wait long to break down the Falcons resistance, as Alex Lozowski touched down for Saracens’ second of the afternoon but the chief architect was scrum half Richard Wigglesworth. With the Falcons defence frustrating Sarries, Wigglesworth spotted a lack of cover in the Falcons back field and dribbled in a fine grubber kick to the onrushing Lozowski who dotted down under the posts as Saracens headed into the break 18-6 up.

After the break Sarries extended their lead when Chris Ashton finished off a fine team move after 52 minutes. The build-up to the try belonged to the forwards, with lock duo Jim Hamilton and Michael Rhodes combining to great effect to release Sean Maitland to break the Newcastle line – Sarries recycled and with the overlap, simple hands provided Ashton with a simple walk-in score.

The Falcons were trailing a rampant Sarries 23-6 but Dean Richards’ side were in no mood to hosit the white flag into the Gosforth skies. They were the next to score with centre Dom Waldouck barrelling over after some highly entertaining approach play that involved the superb Goneva and the equally impressive Sinoti. The Falcons wing duo were a constant thorn in Sarries side, with their combination of power and subtlety keeping the Saracens defence guessing.

The Falcons were ramping up their attacking game, and with the ball in their own half they were expansive in their approach to cutting Saracens lead. Their positive approach backfired when Alex Lozowski coasted into the Falcons attacking line to intercept a Joel Hodgson cut-out pass. Lozowski won’t score an easier brace of tries than his efforts at Kingston Park, but the England squad man showed how he is as equally adept of reading the game without the ball as he is with ball in hand.

Lozowski’s effort deflated the Falcons and with the result now a formality Nathan Earle’s 71st minute try had many thinking the contest was dead and buried. Earle showed a real finishers instinct to pop up on the opposite wing to finish another sweeping move that included a superb line-break from skipper Brad Barritt.

Earle’s try though wasn’t the last act of a match that was a real treat for the 7,899 in attendance. The Falcons will continue to win many friends on the evidence of the last ten minutes as they ran in two tries with Goneva and local favourite Davey Wilson crashing over in the dying embers of a superb game.

Final Score: Newcastle Falcons 27 Saracens 35

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Dominic Waldouck (Chris Harris, 65), 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Joel Hodgson (Mike Delany, 68), 9 Sonatane Takulua (Sam Egerton, 75); 1 Rob Vickers (Ben Harris, 68), 2 Kyle Cooper (Scott Lawson, 53), 3 Jon Welsh (David Wilson, 75), 4 Calum Green, 5 Evan Olmstead (Callum Chick, 69), 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (captain), 8 Nili Latu (Ally Hogg, 53).

Falcons scorers –

Tries: Dominic Waldouck, Vereniki Goneva, David Wilson.

Conversions: Sonatane Takulua, Mike Delany x2.

Penalties: Sonatane Takulua x2

Saracens: 15 Duncan Taylor (Nathan Earle 29’); 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt (Earle 16’-21’)(c), 11 Sean Maitland (Malins 72’); 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Richard Wigglesworth (Spencer 59’); 1 Mako Vunipola (Lamositele 69’), 2 Schalk Brits (Saunders 72’), 3 Juan Figallo (Du Plessis 69’); 4 Michael Rhodes, 5 Jim Hamilton; 6 Jackson Wray, 7 Joel Conlon (Brown 63’), 8 Billy Vunipola (Flanagan 72’)

Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Titi Lamositele, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 Mark Flanagan, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Max Malins, 23 Nathan Earle

Tries: Michael Rhodes, Alex Lozowski x2, Chris Ashton, Nathan Earle

Conversions: Alex Lozowski (2/5)

Penalties Alex Lozowski (2/2)

Michael Rhodes opened the try scoring for Saracens whilst Alex Lozowski went over for a brace of tries - wings Chris Ashton and Nathan Earle also crossed the whitewash for the north Londoners as they came away from the north East with five points.

In his comeback game Billy Vunipola lasted 72 minutes and showed glimpses of his quality with a series of strong carries in an impressive display after recovering ahead of schedule from a knee injury.

Vunipola lined up alongside his brother Mako in the Saracens starting XV against Newcastle, who had only lost once at their home ground this season.  The Falcons have won many admirers for their cavalier approach to the game at Kingston Park, and with some Pacific Island stardust sprinkled in their backline Saracens’ famed defence was tested throughout. Sinoti Sinoti and Vereniki Goneva were constant threats, as was their scrum-half Sonatane Takulua.

Takulua opened the scoring with a penalty kick after Saracens knocked on at the restart, and at the resulting scrum the Falcons won the penalty. Saracens levelled the scores up minutes later with an Alex Lozowski penalty before Michael Rhodes crossed for the games first try. Rhodes, who was once again packing down in the uncustomary lock-forward position due to Sarries depleted second row stocks, cheekily collected a Takulua pass on the Falcons try-line to score in his 50th appearance for the north Londoners.

The Falcons reduce Sarries lead through another Takulua penalty and the Newcastle scrum-half nearly finished off a fine counter-attacking move started form their pocket-rocket centre Juan Pablo Socino only for a last-gasp challenge from Sean Maitland to force the Tongan international into a mistake.

It was a shot across Saracens bows, and Mark McCall’s side started to up the ante and went close to scoring a second try when Chris Ashton chipped ahead only for the prolific wing to fumble the ball as he looked to regather.

Saracens wouldn’t have wait long to break down the Falcons resistance, as Alex Lozowski touched down for Saracens’ second of the afternoon but the chief architect was scrum half Richard Wigglesworth. With the Falcons defence frustrating Sarries, Wigglesworth spotted a lack of cover in the Falcons back field and dribbled in a fine grubber kick to the onrushing Lozowski who dotted down under the posts as Saracens headed into the break 18-6 up.

After the break Sarries extended their lead when Chris Ashton finished off a fine team move after 52 minutes. The build-up to the try belonged to the forwards, with lock duo Jim Hamilton and Michael Rhodes combining to great effect to release Sean Maitland to break the Newcastle line – Sarries recycled and with the overlap, simple hands provided Ashton with a simple walk-in score.

The Falcons were trailing a rampant Sarries 23-6 but Dean Richards’ side were in no mood to hosit the white flag into the Gosforth skies. They were the next to score with centre Dom Waldouck barrelling over after some highly entertaining approach play that involved the superb Goneva and the equally impressive Sinoti. The Falcons wing duo were a constant thorn in Sarries side, with their combination of power and subtlety keeping the Saracens defence guessing.

The Falcons were ramping up their attacking game, and with the ball in their own half they were expansive in their approach to cutting Saracens lead. Their positive approach backfired when Alex Lozowski coasted into the Falcons attacking line to intercept a Joel Hodgson cut-out pass. Lozowski won’t score an easier brace of tries than his efforts at Kingston Park, but the England squad man showed how he is as equally adept of reading the game without the ball as he is with ball in hand.

Lozowski’s effort deflated the Falcons and with the result now a formality Nathan Earle’s 71st minute try had many thinking the contest was dead and buried. Earle showed a real finishers instinct to pop up on the opposite wing to finish another sweeping move that included a superb line-break from skipper Brad Barritt.

Earle’s try though wasn’t the last act of a match that was a real treat for the 7,899 in attendance. The Falcons will continue to win many friends on the evidence of the last ten minutes as they ran in two tries with Goneva and local favourite Davey Wilson crashing over in the dying embers of a superb game.

Final Score: Newcastle Falcons 27 Saracens 35

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Dominic Waldouck (Chris Harris, 65), 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Joel Hodgson (Mike Delany, 68), 9 Sonatane Takulua (Sam Egerton, 75); 1 Rob Vickers (Ben Harris, 68), 2 Kyle Cooper (Scott Lawson, 53), 3 Jon Welsh (David Wilson, 75), 4 Calum Green, 5 Evan Olmstead (Callum Chick, 69), 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (captain), 8 Nili Latu (Ally Hogg, 53).

Tries: Dominic Waldouck, Vereniki Goneva, David Wilson.

Conversions: Sonatane Takulua, Mike Delany x2.

Penalties: Sonatane Takulua x2

Saracens: 15 Duncan Taylor (Nathan Earle 29’); 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt (Earle 16’-21’)(c), 11 Sean Maitland (Malins 72’); 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Richard Wigglesworth (Spencer 59’); 1 Mako Vunipola (Lamositele 69’), 2 Schalk Brits (Saunders 72’), 3 Juan Figallo (Du Plessis 69’); 4 Michael Rhodes, 5 Jim Hamilton; 6 Jackson Wray, 7 Joel Conlon (Brown 63’), 8 Billy Vunipola (Flanagan 72’)

Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Titi Lamositele, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 Mark Flanagan, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Max Malins, 23 Nathan Earle

Tries: Michael Rhodes, Alex Lozowski x2, Chris Ashton, Nathan Earle

Conversions: Alex Lozowski (2/5)

Penalties Alex Lozowski (2/2)

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