Saracens reclaimed their place at the summit of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with a bonus-point 38-13 win over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park.
On his full debut Samuela Vunisa scored an early try as the defending champions opened up a 13-3 half-time lead.
Nick Tompkins went over midway through the second half to consolidate the visitors’ lead and Mark McCall’s team once again showed their defensive structure in frustrating the Falcons.
And man of the match Charlie Hodgson capped things off with an interception try to finish, showing a surprising turn of speed to race over and run in a third try before Billy Vunipola sealed the bonus point at the death.
As a result Saracens move back ahead of Exeter Chiefs at the top of the table with a sixth win in as many games, while Newcastle are still seeking a first Aviva Premiership Rugby win of the season.
Saracens started strongly and led after just nine minutes thanks to a try from Vunisa in his first start.
A strong driving lineout set up the Italian international for the easy score, with Hodgson converting with the aid of a post before adding a penalty to make it 10-0 to the leaders.
Newcastle’s maul was proving strong though, and after one drive they were able to force a penalty, which Tom Catterick converted to get his side on the board.
It was Saracens who had the final word in the half though, with Hodgson slotting a penalty on the stroke of half-time to make it 13-3 to the visitors.
The second half started in similar fashion, with Saracens in control but struggling to break down their opponents.
Hodgson knocked over three more points to stretch the lead to 16-3 after a good carry from Maro Itoje had pushed the visitors to within five metres of the line.
Newcastle were able to hold onto the ball, but struggled to break through the Saracens defence and were made to pay for it.
One such passage lasted nearly 20 phases for no ground made. When the inevitable kick came in, Billy Vunipola broke through and then when the ball came back to the right Tompkins was the man to burrow over on the right.
Hodgson again converted with the aid of the post to make it 23-3 as they continued to dominate.
A penalty a couple of minutes later stretched the lead even further before Hodgson finished things off in style with a long-range interception score.
There was still time for a final try, as Vunipola finished off a long-range move that featured a great break from Ben Ransom.
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