Home team Away Team

Newcastle

  • Tait, Sinoti,
    Penalty goals: Hodgson (2),
    Conversions: Godman,
18 - 23

Saracens

  • Streather, Ransom,
    Penalty goals: Hodgson (3),
    Conversions: Hodgson (2),

Aviva Premiership: Mark McCall points to Saracens' strength in depth

Last updated: 21st April 2014  

Dean Richards Gloucester v Newcastle 2014 Premiership

Dean Richards: bonus point could prove crucial

Mark McCall Saracens

Mark McCall: Rested players ahead of Heineken Cup semi-final

We took the opportunity to leave a lot of players at home with one eye on the Clermont semi-final, but it just shows the quality of our squad we can do that and get a win. We're chuffed with that.

Mark McCall
Quotes of the week

Related links

News

Report

Teams

Also see

Saracens' decision to rest some of their star names ahead of next week's Heineken Cup semi-final paid off when the Aviva Premiership leaders edged Newcastle 23-18 at Kingston Park.

Sarries director of rugby Mark McCall said: "We took the opportunity to leave a lot of players at home with one eye on the Clermont semi-final, but it just shows the quality of our squad we can do that and get a win. We're chuffed with that.

"It moves us up to 80 points in the log that more or less guarantees us the top spot in the competition at the end of the season.

"We also came through without any injuries and we have some reinforcements coming back and Alex Goode came through. I thought he was the stand-out player on the park in the first half and we didn't want him to miss another week with the Clermont game coming up.

"Resting that many players is a balancing act and we're lucky that we have the squad to be able to do that. We trust this group of players and they have done us well. Today was our 18th win out of 20 this season, which is pretty good.

"We have to manage our resources as best we can. It's difficult but when you have a good squad it makes it easier.

"The players front up and when you finish top of the table for two seasons running, it shows you're doing something right. And when you put yourself in enough semi-finals, you're going to win some of them and that's, hopefully, this year."

Agonising wait

Alex Tait's late scrambled try - confirmed after an agonising wait for the TMO's decision - and Phil Godman's conversion clinched a losing bonus point for the Falcons to extend the gap between Newcastle and bottom side Worcester to eight points with just two games left.

"I'll tell you if that bonus point is important or not at the end of the season," said Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards.

"We have to go to Wasps and are at home to Exeter, and if we play like we did today then we should get something out of both those games.

"I could almost say I enjoyed the game, which was a quality match, but I never enjoy a loss. We had a young group out there and they acquitted themselves well. We were competitive for most of the game and we fought back well, but I would have much preferred a win.

"We showed a little bit of naivety and inexperience especially with their first try, but it was against a side who are at the top in terms of precision and accuracy when they do things.

"It's all good experience and hopefully we will be able to take that into next season and hopefully that will be in the Premiership."

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet

Aviva Premiership Table

Aviva Premiership Table - July 9 2014
Pos Team P Pts
10 Sale Sharks 0 0
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 5th September
Aviva Premiership
19:45Northampton vs Gloucester
Saturday 6th September
14:00Sale vs Bath
14:00Saracens vs Wasps
15:00Leicester vs Newcastle
16:30London Irish vs Harlequins
Sunday 7th September
14:00London Welsh vs Exeter
Friday 12th September
19:45Harlequins vs Saracens
Saturday 13th September
15:00Gloucester vs Sale
15:00Bath vs London Welsh
15:15Exeter vs Leicester
Sunday 14th September
14:00Wasps vs Northampton
15:00Newcastle vs London Irish
Friday 19th September
19:45Gloucester vs Exeter
Saturday 20th September
14:00Sale vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Wasps
15:00London Irish vs Saracens
15:15Bath vs Leicester
Sunday 21st September
14:00Newcastle vs Northampton
Friday 26th September
19:45London Welsh vs Gloucester
Saturday 27th September
15:00Leicester vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Sale
15:15Northampton vs Bath
Sunday 28th September
14:00Wasps vs Newcastle
14:00Exeter vs Harlequins
Friday 3rd October
19:45Bath vs Saracens

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com