Jan 05, 2015
Super Maro's men march on
In a game packed full of tries, big hits, yellow cards, scuffles plus some superb free-flowing rugby, Saracens Storm beat Newcastle Falcons A 46-35 to progress to the Aviva Premiership A-League Final, scoring seven tries in the process.
A contest that was as entertaining as it was frenetic, it was the north Londoners who ran in seven of the 12 tries scored on the night to see off a spirited Falcons A side led by former Saracens flanker Andy Saull.
Try scorers on the night for the Saracens Storm included, Ernst Joubert, Richard Barrington, Ben Ransom, Mike Ellery (x2), Ben Spencer and a late penalty try.
Newcastle Falcons A inside centre Rory Clegg kicked off the scoring with a penalty after three minutes, only for Ben Spencer to level up the scores moments later with a three pointer of his own.
Then the first try of the game. With the Storm on the attack down the left hand side, Tim Streather showed brilliant acceleration and awareness to feed Ernst Joubert on the left wing who powered over to score. Spencer failed to convert.
Clegg hit back for the Falcons with another well-struck penalty from the former England Saxons pivot.
Moments later, Richard Barrington bulldozed his way over for the Storms second try, again Spencer couldn’t convert a difficult conversion.
Ben Ransom was next, with a superb solo effort form the halfway line. This time, Ben Spencer made no mistake from the kicking tee to give Storm a 20-6 lead.
The Falcons responded well and with Storm ill-discipline starting to creep in, No8 Chris York barged his way over to pin back the home side after Saracens Storm were repeatedly penalised in the build-up. Clegg converted.
Mike Ellery though responded for the home side, as the Cumbrian flyer crossed for his first of two tries picking a superb line on the inside shoulder of Nils Mordt to race away from the Falcons cover to score. Spencer converted before Falcons A prop Rogers crossed before half-time to make the scores 27-18 at the break.
Much like the opening 40 minutes, it was a moment of selfless brilliance from centre Tim Streather that would kick the half into life. Receiving the ball from Nils Mordt, the 25-year old centre shimmied his way past the outside Falcons defender, and with superb awareness and slight of hand fed wing Mike Ellery, who powered over to score.
After Ellery’s second, the game was turned on its head. With Matt Hankin sent to the sin-bin, the Falcons crossed for their first try of the half, Rob Hawkins the man to score.
The visitors were in the ascendant and when the Storm conceded a penalty try after 63 minutes, the game was level. With captain Maro Itoje now in the sin-bin, Newcastle A looked to close the game out. Phil Godman sunk a well hit drop goal to give the North East outfit a 32-35 lead.
To their credit, the Saracens Storm upped the intensity, and when Ben Spencer wriggled his way over to score on the 72nd mark their endeavour was rewarded.
A penalty try late on secured the win for Joe Shaw’s side as the Storm march on to face Worcester Cavaliers in next Monday’s Premiership A-League final at Sixways.
Saracens Storm: 15. Ben Ransom; 14. Mike Ellery, 13. Tim Streather, 12. Thretton Palamo, 11. Catalin Fercu; 10. Nils Mordt, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Richard Barrington, 2. Jared Saunders, 3. Biyi Alo, 4. Maro Itoje ©, 5. Nick de Jager, 6. Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 7. Matt Hankin, 8. Ernst Joubert.
Replacements: 16. Josh Taylor, 17. Jack Culverhouse, 18. Ben Feathertone. 19. Jack Tredrea, 20. Kennett O’Neill, 21. Tom Whiteley, 22. Max Wilkins, 23. George Perkins, 24. Max Malins.
Newcastle Falcons A: 15. Brett Connon, 14. Pete Weightman, 13. Tom Penny, 12. Rory Clegg, 11. Dan Temm, 10. Phil Godman, 9. Andy Davies; 1.Alex Rogers, 2. Rob Hawkins, 3. Mark Irving, 4. Scott MacLeod, 5. Will Witty, 6. Ben Morris, 7. Andy Saull (c), 8. Chris York.
Replacements: 16. Andrew Dunn 17. Adam Brocklebank 18. Harry Snowden 19. Brian Tuilagi 20. Dan Taylor 21. James Christie,.