It was fireworks on and off the pitch at Allianz Prk this Sunday afternoon, as Saracens produced a stunning second half display to see off the Newcastle Falcons – who included ex-Sarries Adam Powell and Noah Cato in their starting XV.
David Strettle scored his fifth and sixth tries of the season, with Alex Goode and Man of the Match Jamie George also on the score sheet as Saracens moved two points clear of Northampton Saints at the top of the Aviva Premiership table.
It was Newcastle who had the first opportunity to get on the score sheet, but the Falcons’ Scottish international outside-half Phil Godman hit the posts with his attempt at goal.
Godman atoned for his error minutes later by nudging his side ahead, after Saracens prop Matt Stevens was sin-binned for taking the man out at a lineout.
Despite Saracens being down to 14 men, the home side began to establish a foothold in the game as David Strettle and Alex Goode continued to test the Newcastle defence.
Some neat interplay between Goode, and debutant Marcelo Bosch gave Chris Wyles the opportunity to make a break down the Falcons left edge, the USA international was hauled down meters from the try line and as Saracens recycled the ball Charlie Hodgson produced a trademark show and go to scuttle in for a try.
Just before the half-time whistle, Hodgson extended his sides lead, with a penalty kick after Saracens openside Will Fraser was taken out in the air by Falcons full-back Alex Tait as the pair contested a high ball.
If the first half lacked entertainment then the second forty didn’t disappoint – Saracens blew away the visitors in a brilliant display of quick attacking rugby with two tries from winger David Strettle.
Hodgson added another penalty, minutes later Strettle finished brilliantly scoring his first of the game, as the England winger somehow managed to stay in touch to collect Alex Goode’s grubber kick.
Saracens were in full flow by now, and the newly promoted Falcons were struggling to stem the constant tide of Saracens attacking rugby, beautifully orchestrated by Wigglesworth, Hodgson and Goode.
Saracens were awarded consecutive penalties in the Newcastle 22, and it came as no surprise when Jamie George scored at the back of the dominant Saracens rolling maul.
Alex Goode was next, as he finished a free flowing move that included a sumptuous offload from replacement Schalk Brits, a fine run from Scotland centre Duncan Taylor and a try assist from Will Fraser.
With game now long over as a contest, Saracens continued to search for more scores, and Strettle scored his second of the afternoon collecting a fine flat pass from Goode to bulldoze his way over returning Sarrie Noah Cato to score in the left hand corner.
With game over, Saracens fans joined the players on the pitch to watch a fireworks display that was as impressive as the home sides second half showing.
Hodgson, Strettle (x2), George, Goode
Hodgson (x2), Goode (x1)
Saracens: 15. Alex Goode; 14. Michael Tagicakibau, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 12. Chris Wyles, 11. David Strettle; 10. Charlie Hodgson, 9. Neil de Kock; 1. Richard Barrington, 2. Jamie George, 3. Matt Stevens, 4. Steve Borthwick (c), 5. Mouritz Botha, 6. Jackson Wray, 7. Will Fraser, 8. Ernst Joubert.
41 mins Wigglesworth for De Kock, 55 mins Kruis for Botha; Taylor for Tagicakibau, 64 mins Brits for George, 66 mins Auterac for Barrington; Du Plessis for Stevens; Burger for Joubert; Ransom for Hodgson.
Yellow card 17 mins Stevens
Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 1 Rob Vickers, 2 Scott Lawson, 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Carlo del Fava, 5 Dom Barrow, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Ally Hogg
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