Reigning champs Saracens outclass Falcons
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Saracens found their feet in the second half and Alex Lozowski crossed at the death to claim a hard-fought bonus-point 26-12 win against Newcastle Falcons at Allianz Park.
The defending Premiership Rugby champions made a sluggish start in Owen Farrell’s first game back and trailed at half time.
The Falcons – on a three-match winning run in the league coming into the clash – led 6-5 thanks to two Sonatane Takulua penalties.
Sean Maitland had finished off a delightful first-half counter-attack for an otherwise wasteful Sarries side.
But in the second half Mark McCall’s men, who have not lost at home in more than a year in all competitions, found some fluidity.
Full-back for the day Malins started and finished a sweeping counter-attack, getting on the end of Maitland’s kick through to dot down their second try.
Farrell slotted the conversion but Takulua’s third penalty kept the Falcons right in it at 12-9 past the hour mark.
However, Sarries made sure of the win soon after as Tompkins dotted down at the back of a rolling maul.
The Falcons have not beaten Sarries in a decade and stay bottom of the standings but Takulua’s fourth penalty late on did look like earning them a merited losing bonus point.
But Lozowski burst onto Farrell’s clever pass late on to secure a bonus-point win for the hosts and deny the Falcons any consolation for their trip back north.
Tries: Maitland, Malins, Tompkins, Lozowski
Cons: Farrell 3
Pens: Takulua 4
Saracens: 15 Max Malins, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Owen Farrell (captain), 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Mike Rhodes, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Tom Woolstencroft, 1 Richard Barrington
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Ralph Adams-Hale, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Dom Morris, 23 Alex Lewington
Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood (captain), 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Callum Chick, 7 John Hardie, 6 Gary Graham, 5 Andrew Davidson, 4 Evan Olmstead, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Logovi’i Mulipola
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Sam Lockwood, 18 David Wilson, 19 Sean Robinson, 20 Will Witty, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Alex Dunbar
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant Referees: George Selwood & Steve Lee.
TMO: David Rose.