Home team Away Team

Newcastle


  • Penalty goals: Gopperth,
3 - 9

Saracens


  • Penalty goals: Farrell (3),

Sarries secure semi spot

But losing bonus point boosts Falcons' survival hopes

Last updated: 20th April 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Newcastle Jimmy Gopperth 2012

Jimmy Gopperth only managed three points on the night

Owen Farrell Wembley

Owen Farrell kicked three penalties for Saracens

Related links

Teams

Also see

Saracens clinched a place in the Aviva Premiership semi-finals after prevailing 9-3 in a low-scoring encounter with Newcastle at Kingston Park.

Three penalties from the boot of Owen Farrell took Saracens into second place in the table, while Jimmy Gopperth's solitary strike gave the Falcons a crucial losing bonus point in front of a crowd of 8,011 - Newcastle's biggest of the season.

The Falcons squandered chances to win the game at the death and Saracens were hanging on but that bonus point cut the gap between Newcastle and Wasps to just three points - Wasps visit Bath on Saturday.

Saracens lost England centre Brad Barritt with a leg injury during the warm-up, with Farrell moving to number 12 and Charlie Hodgson coming in at fly-half.

Dominated

There was little to choose between the sides in the opening 10 minutes and not much between them at half-time, with Farrell landing just one of three kicks at goal for Saracens to lead 3-0.

But it was a half that Saracens dominated against some determined Newcastle tackling.

An offside in the 11th minute gave Farrell his first opportunity but he was short from 45 metres.

Hodgson kept up the pressure with a little dink through but the ball ran into touch and, although Newcastle did not clear it too well, Saracens then overthrew at the line-out and Newcastle were able to break out to the safety of the halfway line.

Saracens moved into the lead when Jon Golding failed to roll away in the tackle and Farrell slotted the penalty in the 18th minute.

Nick Stringer then broke down the blindside and kicked behind Alex Goode, but the full-back recovered brilliantly and cut back, evading three tackles and made it up to halfway to get his side out of trouble.

The referee made a big call in the 32nd minute, deciding Newcastle had wheeled the scrum, but Farrell hit the post with the penalty and Stringer cleared.

Frenetic

Another wheeled scrum gave Farrell the chance to make it 6-0 four minutes into the second half but it was full-back Greg Goosen's knock-on that put his pack under pressure.

Gopperth was then short with a penalty when the scrum went down but did make it 6-3 in the 53rd minute after a late hit by Will Fraser.

Farrell restored the six-point gap when he made it 9-3 in the 64th minute when the Newcastle scrum went down again.

But the hosts did have real chances in the final 10 minutes when Justin Melck was sin-binned, and in the dying minutes Newcastle hammered away.

After James Fitzpatrick nearly made it through, the last three minutes saw the Falcons spurn a kick at goal to go to the corner and that set up a frenetic finish which saw Saracens just keep Newcastle out.

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