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Match Reaction: Saracens 29 Newcastle Falcons 18

Academy coach Ian Vass wants Saracens to fight for silverware on all fronts after their first win of this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup against Newcastle Falcons.

The Falcons had led 10-0 early on but the home sides fought back with tries from Nick Tompkins, Scott Spurling, Jared Saunders and George Perkins to secure a 29-18 victory.

Craig Willis was shown a red card late-on but Santiago Socino still managed to grab a late consolation score for the visitors who have lost both their Anglo-Welsh games this year.

Click here for the latest fixtures and results from the Anglo-Welsh Cup

And Vass was pleased to see his side bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Gloucester and he looks to instil last year’s winning mentality in his young side.

“The competition is really important,” he said.

“To be able to fight on lots of different fronts you need a big squad of players and all of them have got to be ready to slot into the team at any point.

“We know what it feels like to win and that experience, that memory, for our team is important. Trying to create those memories and experiences is what we’re all about.

“That’s why it’s important. A new group of players, to have experience of winning and understand what it takes to win, to gain experience, is really important.”

Click here for the latest Anglo-Welsh Cup tables and an explanation of the format of the tournament

After Opeti Fonua’s early score, while Saracens lock Nick Isiekwe was in the sin bin, the Falcons struggled to put sustained pressure on the home defence.

Debutant Santiago Socino added a late consolation score after the Falcons were reduced to 14 men but director of rugby Dean Richards was pleased with much of what he saw.

“It’s a little bit of disappointment actually,” he said.

“First half we stuck to our guns and, had we stuck to our guns in the second half, and understood what worked for us and what didn’t we might have been sitting here talking about a different thing all together.

“I was delighted with the number of performances out there today.

“I think it’s probably the naivety of youth for us was that the boys got a little bit loose at certain times and gave them a way in.

“It’s that understanding of why it’s opening up and how we get there and, if you keep on doing the same things, it’ll happen more and more often.

“We didn’t have that patience to do that but, again, it comes down to the naivety of youth.”

Saracens: Fenby (Gallagher, 51); Ellery (Perkins, 68), Tompkins, Griffiths, Earle; Whiteley, Taylor (De Kock, 51); Barrington (Thompson-Stringer, 51), Spurling (Saunders, 58), Du Plessis (Walker, 57), Isiekwe, Flanagan (Nay, 62), Conlon, Brown, Vunisa (Earl, 58)

Newcastle Falcons: Connon; Marshall, Burdon, Willis (Socino, 62), Radwan (Ffitch, 77); Hodgson (Stevenson , 55), Egerton (Dawson, 72); Rogers (Brocklebank, 31), Nelson, Wilson (Ryan, 60), Botha, Young, Chisanga, Holmes (Temm, 60), Fonua (Orr, 41)

Saracens


Tries: Tompkins, Spurling, Saunders, Perkins

Conversions: Whiteley 3

Penalties: Whiteley

Newcastle Falcons


Tries: Fonua, Socino

Conversions: Connon

Penalties: Connon 2

Referee: Mike Adamson

Attendance: 7607

The second round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup kicks off this weekend. For full details of the tournament and tickets for the Final at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday 19 March see www.new-heroes.com

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