Sep 17, 2017
Falcons' wings clipped by Sarries in Philadelphia
Saracens scored two tries as they suffocated Newcastle Falcons to win 29-7 in round three of the Aviva Premiership in Philadelphia.
It was Sarries second Aviva Premiership outing in the United States, and their second win on US soil, London Irish back in March 2015 which was staged in New York.
Owen Farrell was metronomic with the boot kicking 17 points in the game. Hometown hero Chris Wyles enough to see off the Falcons at the Talen Energy Stadium. Wing Wyles, who grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, returned to his home state to score a well- crafted first half try, but it was Owen Farrell’s prowess from the kicking tee that ensured victory for Saracens, as the England and British & Irish Lions outside half kicked five penalties and a conversion.
Late into the game Referee JP Doyle awarded Saracens a penalty try after Falcons wing Vereniki Goneva, who had earlier scored the Falcons solitary try of the game, batted down a try scoring pass. The try was Saracens’ 100th in Premiership Rugby against Newcastle Falcons.
The opening exchanges showed plenty of promise for the 6,271 in attendance at the home of the Philadelphia Union Soccer team. The opening try from Chris Wyles showed Saracens at their attacking best, using decoy runners and ball-handling forwards to great effect to manufacture a two-on-one out on the left hand side that Alex Goode providing the scoring pass for Wyles, a veteran of three World Cups during his USA Eagles career in which he captained the United States during his 54 caps.
With Billy Vunipola dominating with a series of bruising carries and summer signing Liam Williams showing flashes of brilliance from the right-wing Sarries continued to dominate. It came as a surprise then, when Vereniki Goneva hit-back for the Falcons in opportune fashion after Saracens spilt the ball in attack. Flanker Mark Wilson hoovered up the loose ball and after a quick offload, Goneva did the rest racing in to score. Joel Hodgson converted to level up the scores.
The game continued to see Saracens dominate the territory and possession but a series of frustrating errors with ball in hand saw some real chances go begging. Saracens profligacy though wasn’t punished as Owen Farrell kept the scoreboard ticking over with a faultless kicking display.
Farrell kicked five penalties as Newcastle, starved of possession and any real field position, were repeatedly penalised. With the game won, Sarries once again worked an overlap on the right-hand side but the final ball to replacement wing Sean Maitland was batted down by the flailing Goneva. Referee JP Doyle had no hesitation in awarding Saracens the penalty try.
Next up for Saracens is the club’s first game at Allianz Park of the 2017/18 season against Sale Sharks on Saturday 23rd September. Check saracens.com/tickets for more details.
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode; 14 Liam Williams; 13 Marcelo Bosch (Tompkins 65'); 12 Brad Barritt (c); 11 Chris Wyles, (Maitland (58'); 10 Owen Farrell; 9 Ben Spencer (Wigglesworth 53'); 1 Mako Vunipola (Thompson-Stringer 72'); 2 Jamie George (Tolofua (59'); 3 Juan Figallo (Longbottom (59'); 4 Nick Isiekwe (Day (67'); 5 Maro Itoje; 6 Michael Rhodes; 7 Schalk Burger (Wray 41'); 8 Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua; 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer; 18 Kieran Longbottom;
19 Dominic Day; 20 Jackson Wray; 21 Richard Wigglesworth; 22 Nick Tompkins; 23 Sean Maitland.
Tries Wyles (8); Penalty try (75);
Cons Farrell 1/1
Penalties Farrell 5/5
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley; 14 Sinoti Sinoti (Agulla 70'); 13 Chris Harris; 12 Josh Matavesi (J.Socino 51'); 11 Vereniki Goneva; 10 Joel Hodgson; 9 Sonatane Takulua (Stuart 70'); 1 Rob Vickers (Mavinga 65'); 2 Scott Lawson (S. Socino 57'); 3 Jon Welsh (Davidson 65'); 4 Calum Green; 5 Sean Robinson (Witty 56') ; 6 Mark Wilson; 7 Will Welch (captain); 8 Nili Latu (Hogg 66'):
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino; 17 Sami Mavinga; 18 Trevor Davison; 19 Will Witty; 20 Ally Hogg; 21 Sam Stuart; 22 Juan Pablo Socino; 23 Sinoti
Tries: Goneva (26)
Scoring Sequence 5-0 Wyles try; 7-0 Farrell con;7-5 Goneva try; 7-7 Takulua con; 10-7 Farrell pen;
13-7 Farrell pen; 16-7 Farrell pen; 19-7 Farrell pen; 22-7 Farrell pen; 29-7 Penalty try
Man of the Match: Maro Itoje