Nov 01, 2013
Saracens v Newcastle - Match Preview
Saracens face Dean Richards' Newcastle Falcons this Sunday at Allianz Park in round seven of the Aviva Premiership.
The Falcons travel to Allianz Park on the back of a hard fought victory against London Irish. In contrast, Saracens are looking to get back to winning ways after a sobering defeat away to Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens.
Form guide, won 3, lost 3.
As the newly promoted team to the Aviva Premiership many teams would have targeted The Falcons as one of the easier fixtures. However with three wins from six and currently sitting in eighth place, they are proving to be tough opponents.
With many of their current team having played together in the championship a certain solidarity is beginning to show epitomised by their defence.
Dean Richards has made some canny signings since taking charge adding experienced players in key areas and youth in those where it is needed.
The likes of Scott MacLeod has given them depth to their line out when set piece is a crucial part of any successful premiership side.
He is part of a Scottish spine in the Falcons squad where himself, Ali Hogg (no.8), Mike Blair (scrum half) and Phil Godman (fly half), once internationals partners in crime, could be the reason for them continuing to play premiership rugby next season.
The newly purchased former Saracens trio, Adam Powell, Andy Saull and Noah Cato could prove to be integral on their return.
Having only conceded twelve tries so far this season, they boast the premiership's fifth best defence. But coming up against a Saracens team, riled from their loss the previous week, will certainly be an uphill battle.
Especially seeing as they have scored ten tries in three games at Allianz Park this season, including two bonus points. A stern test indeed for the Falcons, but one I'm sure they are relishing.
Their attack has really struggled to get going, having only scored three tries in six games, but they have a determination to win and a hard team to shake off. With Saracens having only conceded four tries at home this year, it will could be a tough Sunday afternoon for them.
However the synthetic pitch of Allianz Park could set alight the outside backs giving the opportunity to get a real attack going. The likes of Noah Cato could prove to be vital.
They are playing a Saracens team that has come off back to back defeats and this could be their time to cause a real upset and show their true worth.
20/4/12 Newcastle Falcons 3 – 9 Saracens
9/10/11 Saracens 25 - 5 Newcastle Falcons
27/3/11 Saracens 24 - 9 Newcastle Falcons
Player to watch-
Mike Blair - He has, and will prove to be, one on Richards most valuable signings. With a wealth of experience at both club and international level he adds a cool head around those players who have not played a lot of top flight rugby. He is a tremendous orchestrator and can put the Falcons in the right positions to cause some trouble.