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Saracens

  • Hodgson, Strettle (2), George, Bosch,
    Penalty goals: Hodgson (3),
    Conversions: Hodgson (2), Goode,
40 - 3

Newcastle


  • Penalty goals: Godman,

Aviva Premiership: Saracens top of the league after beating Necastle

Last updated: 3rd November 2013  

Charlie Hodgson Saracens 2013

Charlie Hodgson: impressive return

Matt Stevens Saracens Aviva Premiership

Matt Stevens of Saracens against the Newcastle Falcons in the Aviva Premiership

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Saracens remained on top of the Aviva Premiership table after a convincing 40-3 victory over Newcastle on Sunday, as Charlie Hodgson made a big impact on his first start of the season.

The hosts ran in five tries and limited the Falcons to just a single penalty from Phil Godman as they moved two points clear of Northampton, who also won on Sunday.

Veteran Hodgson was back in action after an Achilles injury and scored the opening try, two conversions and three penalties as Sarries bounced back from the 17-16 Heineken Cup defeat to Toulouse and last weekend's 41-20 Premiership hammering at Northampton.

Left-wing David Strettle, hooker Jamie George and full-back Alex Goode scored second-half tries to secure a bonus-point win for the leaders, before Goode converted Strettle's second try three minutes from time.

The Falcons had the best of the early exchanges and actually took the lead when Godman made up for hitting the post with a 10th-minute penalty by slotting another home five minutes later.

Sarries hit further line-out trouble when former England prop Matt Stevens was sin-binned for upending Newcastle lock Carlo Del Fava with an aerial challenge as he collected hooker Scott Lawson's throw.

14 men

Down to 14 men, Saracens finally took the game to Newcastle and after Argentinian debutant Marcelo Bosch and USA international Chris Wyles had gone close, Hodgson spotted a gap in the Falcons defence and went through it untouched for a well-taken 28th-minute try, which he converted.

Hodgson increased the lead to 10-3 after Newcastle left-wing Ryan Shortland looked fortunate to escape with a penalty as the only punishment for upending Will Fraser after the airborne Saracens flanker had beaten him to a high kick.

Hodgson struck his second penalty two minutes after the interval and stretched the lead to 13 points after the rampant Saracens scrum forced the back-pedalling Newcastle pack to concede a penalty directly in front of their posts.

Saracens' second try came in the 57th minute when full-back Goode threaded a diagonal left-foot kick through the Falcons defence for Strettle to collect and touch down by the corner flag.

Hodgson's touchline conversion attempt hit the post.

Saracens' scrum dominance produced their third try as they engineered a classic line-out and drive to force man-of-the-match George over the line - but Hodgson saw a second successive kick rebound from the upright.

Goode finished the 69th-minute bonus-point try, created by Hodgson and Fraser, with Hodgson converting before Strettle grabbed his second try three minutes from time, with Goode adding the conversion.

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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

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