Reigning Anglo-Welsh Cup champions Saracens got their first win in this year’s competition with a 29-18 win against Newcastle Falcons at Allianz Park.
After losing their first round game to Gloucester, tries from Nick Tompkins, Scott Spurling, Jared Saunders and George Perkins helped them on their way gave Saracens their first Anglo-Welsh win of the season.
For Newcastle, who ended the game with 14 men, it was their second defeats out of two in the competition, after their round one loss to Northampton despite a late Santiago Socino consolation try.
Saracens began the stronger as they applied early pressure onto the Falcons with the returning Nathan Earle looking particularly dangerous but the visitors held firm despite Saracens coming within yards of the try line eight minutes in.
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) November 12, 2016
Newcastle then took the lead in the 14th minute as Saracens’ second row, Nick Isiekwe, was yellow carded on his home debut. Brett Connon successfully kicked the penalty to make it 3-0.
The visitors then increased their lead as they powered their way through the home side’s back line and Opeti Fonua dotting down for the first try. Connon converted to put Newcastle ahead by 10.
With Isiekwe back on the pitch, Saracens soon reduced the deficit. Tompkins kicked through and, rather fortuitously the ball popped back into his arms leaving him with a clear run to the line.
Tom Whiteley converted for the home team and, after missing a penalty kick on half an hour, the fly half successfully pulled Saracens level, on the stroke of half time, with another penalty.
Newcastle managed to regain the lead seven minutes after the restart as Connon kicked his second successful penalty of the game.
But shortly after Whiteley was afforded another opportunity to kick his side level but his effort cannoned off of the post.
However, it wasn’t to matter as Saracens soon took control. Two quick fire tries, both coming from successful driving mauls, were scored by hooker Spurling and replacement prop Saunders.
Thank you to everyone who either made the trip or followed from afar. Huge effort today from the lads. Lots of credit in defeat.
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) November 12, 2016
Whiteley found his kicking boots to convert both making it 24-13 to the home side.
Falcons’ Craig Willis was shown a red card with ten minutes still to play for a dangerous tackle and soon after a sweeping Saracens move saw Perkins get the bonus point score.
Socino added a late consolation try for the Falcons to leave the final score at 29-18.
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