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Penalties cost Falcons chance of famous win

By Leipziger
March 1 2015

Newcastle Falcons continued to show signs of progress yesterday by out scoring Saracens by three tries to one in Barnet, only to be felled by Ben Spencer's boot in the second half.

Although the Falcons only created a few chances, Saracens struggled to contain them in the 22, but ill-discipline in their own danger zone led to the hosts sending five penalties through the posts to add to David Strettle's first-half try. Saracens won 22-17 but knew they had been in a very tough game.


Former Fezhead Andy Saull finished off a rolling maul to put the Falcons ahead after just two minutes, before Charlie Hodgson kicked a penalty. Strettle then finished off a backs move that saw Saracens pull the Falcons defence infield to give the winger a gap out wide. Hodgson converted.


The Falcons levelled thanks to Alesana Tuilagi, the Samoan steamroller running over Ben Ransom on his way to the tryline. Hodgson's second penalty put the Londoners back in front before he and half-back partner Neil De Kock had to be replaced before half-time. Hodgson pulled up with a dodgy hamstring just as De Kock received treatment for a head injury. An intriguing and at times fiery first half ended 13-10 to Saracens.


In the second half, Will Welch scored from a rolling maul, Tom Catterick converting, and the Falcons began to believe in a first win away to Saracens since 2007.


Saracens refused to lie down but they struggled to make headway into the Falcons 22. The visitors kept giving away penalties though and replacement scrum-half Ben Spencer knocked over two around the hour mark.


The introduction of Calum Green and Ruki Tipuna added some more drive to the Falcons' game but they were unable to fashion another score. Spencer's third penalty with just minutes left all-but sealed Saracens' victory and puts them second in the table, while London Irish's victory at London Welsh drops Newcastle to eleventh.



Player ratings: A Tait 7, S Sinoti 6, A Powell 7, JP Socino 6, Alex Tuilagi 7, T Catterick 6, M Blair 7 (R Tipuna 6), R Vickers 7, S Lawson 8, JP Orlandi 6, K Thompson 6 (C Green 6), D Barrow 8, W Welch 7, A Saull 7, M Wilson 7.

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Penalties cost Falcons chance of famous win (IP Logged)
01/03/2015 19:53
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Re: Penalties cost Falcons chance of famous win
steve1888 (IP Logged)
02/03/2015 13:19
I actually thought Thompson done quite well but Catterick was poor and think you're generous giving a six - way off his normal game especially in defence and with boot wondered if something was up with him and seemed madness to not sub him for clean.

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