Nov 12, 2016
Saracens come from behind to record first Anglo-Welsh win
Saracens secured their first win of this season’s Anglo-Welsh cup with a bonus-point 29-18 victory over Newcastle Falcons.
The scores were level going into the break, Brett Connon and Nick Tomkins crossing the whitewash for their respective sides, paired with a conversion and penalty attempt a piece from Connon and Tom Whiteley.
However it was the home side that took control after the break with further scores from Scott Spurling, Jared Saunders and George Perkins. The Falcons replying with a late score from replacement Santiago Socino.
The weather conditions dominated the opening exchanges, handling errors plaguing both sides as they looked to run the ball.
Newcastle’s Brett Connon got the scoreboard up and running after 15 minutes, his penalty giving the Falcons a 3-0 lead after Nick Isiekwe was shown yellow for a professional foul.
The Falcons further extended their lead when Opeti Fonua crashed over from short range, Brett Connon adding the extras from in front of the posts.
Saracens hit back through Nick Tomkins after 27 minutes. Falcons failing to deal with the centre’s grubber through before quick thinking from Nathan Earle sent the England Saxons man over for the score, Whiteley’s conversion taking the score to 7-10 to the visitors.
Whiteley leveled the scores just moments before the break sending the two sides back into the warm and dry changing rooms with everything still to play for.
First points of the second forty went the way of the Falcons, Conlon’s long-range visitors back into the lead.
Scott Spurling capitalised from the back of a dominant rolling maul on 56 minutes bagging Saracens second try of the afternoon, Whiteley adding the extras with the boot.
It was the Saracens rolling maul that stole the show once again shortly afterwards. Jared Saunders the man that emerged from the pile of red and black shirts over the line with the ball, Whiteley continuing his fine afternoon with the boot to take the score to 24-13 as the game ticked into the final quarter.
The game took a sour turn ten minutes from time when Newcastle centre Greg Willis was shown red for a dangerous tackle and Saracens soon took advantage of the extra man when Perkins raced over in the corner for the bonus-point try. Whiteley denied the extra two by the uprights.
Socino crossed for the Falcons in the 75th minute but nothing more than a consolation score for the visitors as Saracens young guns closed the game out getting their Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign back on track.
Saracens: 15 Andrew Fenby (Matt Gallagher 50’); 14 Mike Ellery (George Perkins 68’), 13 Nick Tompkins 12 Tom Griffiths, 11 Nathan Earle; 10 Tom Whiteley, 9 Henry Taylor (Neil de Kock 50’); 1 Richard Barrington (Hayden Thompson-Stringer) 50’, 2 Scott Spurling (Jared Saunders 57’), 3 Petrus Du Plessis (Billy Walker 57’); 4 Nick Isiekwe, 5 Mark Flanagan (Jack Nay 61’); 6 Joel Conlon, 7 Kelly Brown (c), 8 Samu Vunisa (Ben Earl 57’).
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 18 Billy Walker, 19 Jack Nay, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Matt Gallagher, 23 George Perkins
Tries: Nick Tompkins (27’), Scott Spurling (54’), Jared Saunders (58’), George Perkins (70’)
Conversions: Tom Whiteley (3/4)
Penalties: Tom Whiteley (1/2)
Yellow Card: Nick Isiekwe (12’)
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Brett Connon, 14 Dan Marshall, 13 Fred Burdon (captain), 12 Craig Willis, 11 Adam Radwan (Tom Ffitch, 77), 10 Joel Hodgson (Ben Stevenson, 55), 9 Sam Egerton (Ruaridh Dawson, 72); 1 Alex Rogers (Adam Brocklebank, 30), 2 David Nelson (Santiago Socino, 63), 3 Scott Wilson (Paddy Ryan, 59), 4 Mouritz Botha, 5 Glen Young, 6 Joshua Chisanga, 7 Tyrone Holmes (Daniel Temm, 59), 8 Opeti Fonua (Harrison Orr, 40).
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Harrison Orr, 20 Daniel Temm, 21 Ruaridh Dawson, 22 Ben Stevenson, 23 Tom Ffitch.
Tries: Opeti Fonua (22’), Santiago Socino (73’)
Penalties: Brett Connon 2/2
Conversions: Brett Connon 1/2
Red Card: Craig Willis (69’)