Match Report: Newcastle Falcons A 14 – 55 Saracens Storm
Blitzes at the start of each half saw Saracens Storm crowned Premiership Rugby Shield champions as the club added another trophy to their cabinet.
Doubles from Tom Whiteley, Charlie Watson and Rotimi Segun set the tone for Saracens, who kept Newcastle Falcons at bay on the Kingston Park turf just days after the Londoners had sealed Champions Cup glory in the same city.
The tournament’s top seeds were unable to replicate the form that had seen them win home advantage in the final, with the professional Saracens outfit refusing to give them an inch throughout.
The Storm certainly looked to live up to their name in the early stages, bringing the thunder on a tranquil night in Newcastle.
Early pressure saw Saracens make ground straight from kick-off, and Whiteley spotted clear grass to go in under the posts with less than a minute on the clock to catch the home faithful cold.
And before the Falcons could respond, Saracens doubled up, Whiteley involved again as the visitors broke the line, with Kpoku on hand to receive the offload and dash in under the posts unchallenged.
They looked all set to add a third with an electric break down the right, Elliott Obatoyinbo making ground with just Ben Stevenson to beat, but the Falcons centre did wonderfully to show his man inside and force a knock-on to prevent further damage to the scoreboard.
But after Falcons failed to clear their lines, the Storm made them pay, Whiteley once more at the heart of things after Saracens were held up on the line, before flat ball to Watson created the narrowest of gaps through which the substitute darted.
With the minutes ticking by in the first half, Falcons got themselves on the board after a sustained period of pressure.
A flowing passing move saw Jamie Blamire collect from Ben Stevenson to dot down under the posts, and suddenly Newcastle had the bit between their teeth in a harum-scarum end to the first 40.
Their momentum was snubbed by the visiting Storm, however, as Saracens started the second half in the same manner as they did the first, crossing early through Segun who profited from a stirring Tom Griffiths drive.
And just as they had done in the opening stages, Saracens hit Newcastle with a one-two, Griffiths snaffling his way over from the back of a maul before Whiteley grabbed Storm’s third of the half and his second of the match.
Glen Young gave the hosts a glimmer of hope when he looped round the corner to score, but Segun quickly responded with his second of the piece before Matt Gallagher brought the half century up for the Storm and Watson added one final try.