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- Aviva Premiership
- 20th Apr 2014
- KO 15:00
- Ground: Kingston Park
- Att: 4,878
Aviva Premiership: Saracens win while Newcastle Falcons earn bonus point
Saracens strengthened their position at the top of the Aviva Premiership table with a 23-18 victory over Newcastle at Kingston Park.
Leicester's defeat to Harlequins on Friday meant Sarries started the match having already secured a home play-off semi-final, but the league leaders did not take their foot off the pedal.
Tries from Tim Streather and Ben Ransom took them nine points clear of second-placed Northampton with only 10 left to play for between now and the end of the regular season.
The struggling Falcons did manage to secure a crucial losing bonus point thanks to a late try from Warren Fury. They are now eight points clear of bottom side Worcester with only two games remaining.
It looked like it may turn out even better for the Falcons when they scored the first try of the match after just three minutes, Sinoti Sinoti shrugging off two cover tackles to finish a fine move in the corner.
Jack Wilson took out Alex Tait in the air in the eighth minute to earn himself a yellow card, but Saracens showed why they are top of the table by scoring an impressive try while down to 14 men.
Their 11th-minute effort was started by Alex Goode and ended with an easy finish for Streather after some adept handling from Matt Stevens, Alistair Hargreaves and Jackson Wray.
Charlie Hodgson added the conversion from out wide for good measure and kicked an 18th minute penalty to make it 10-5 and dent the Falcons' early optimism.
Saracens continued to come forward but the Falcons kept them out and Joel Hodgson nailed a 48-metre penalty to make it 10-8 to the visitors at the break.
Saracens restored the five-point gap shortly after the restart when Charlie Hodgson booted over another penalty.
The Falcons pack did manage to pressure the Saracens scrum and a 57th minute penalty allowed Joel Hodgson narrow the lead to two points again.
But Saracens regrouped at the set piece and Newcastle quickly went backwards at successive scrums, with a subsequent penalty allowing Charlie Hodgson to slot over another three-pointer.
The lead was increased when Sinoti threw a wild pass 30 metres from the Saracens line and Ransom snapped it up to race away for a converted try.
Knowing the value of a losing bonus point, Newcastle threw everything into attack in the closing minutes and were rewarded when Fury scrambled over and the try was eventually confirmed by the television match officials. Phil Godman added the extras.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com