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Match Reaction: Saracens 25 Newcastle Falcons 3

Match Reaction: Saracens 25 Newcastle Falcons 3

Saracens moved within two points of Exeter Chiefs at the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table thanks to an attritional win against Newcastle Falcons.

Richard Barrington and a penalty try gave them control in the first half after Ben Spencer and Joel Hodgson exchanged penalties in wet conditions at Allianz Park.

The Falcons came out firing after the break but Saracens held firm and then pounced up the other end with Max Malins crossing to confirm a vital victory.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Ben Spencer was a menace throughout the match, especially with the boot.

The scrum-half scored two penalties but it was his kicking from hand which made the difference against the Falcons.

Like fellow scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth, Spencer continually put the Falcons under pressure under the high ball, forcing Newcastle into plenty of errors.

TRY OF THE MATCH

With Newcastle pushing throughout the second half, Saracens needed to get out of their half – despite their defence keeping the Falcons at bay.

But Malins’ try late in the half ended it as a contest as he latched onto a kick through and used his momentum to slide across the try line.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

With Saracens’ tails up, Newcastle were struggling to keep them at bay after Barrington’s try and it was a case of all hands to the pump in their own 22.

But the referee awarded a penalty try when a kick to the corner from Alex Lozowski for Chris Wyles saw Sinoti Sinoti commit an infringement and the referee awarded a penalty try.

WHAT THEY SAID

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: “It was a good workmanlike performance in very difficult conditions,” he said.

“In particular we were very pleased with the first-half performance when we were playing into a very strong wind and obviously it was pouring with rain, so to control the first-half the way that we did was very pleasing.

“Our set piece was on top, we carried the ball well and we went down there and scored a couple of tries.

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dave Richards said: “It was a difficult afternoon, you’re playing against a team that have lost a few players and have the ability to bring in a team of superstars.

“Their back lines probably hampered by the loss of Farrell and they bring in Lozowski at 10!

“You look at the back row for a start and you’ve got Calum Clark, Schalk Burger and Jackson Wray and they’re still missing people like Billy Vunipola, so it’s still not a bad squad that they’ve put together.

“We found it difficult to compete we them on the day and the bit of stardust that they have probably shone through.”

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