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Aviva Premiership: Saracens top of the league after beating Necastle
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- Diamond slams 'foolish' Sale
- Sunday's Aviva Prem preview
- Wasps boss hails two-try Wade
- O'Connor surprised by speed
- McCall praises Sarries spirit
- Cockerill: Not good enough
- Bath battle to Worcester win
- Wade brace lifts Wasps
- Saints grind out victory
- Tigers slump to Quins
- Steenson haul sinks Sale
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.
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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|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle Falcons vs Leicester Tigers|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 26th April|
|14:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Saturday 9th May|
|14:00||Sale vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Wasps 32 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Exeter 16 - 6 Bath|
|Saracens 22 - 17 Newcastle Falcons|
|Leicester Tigers 28 - 8 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 12 - 50 London Irish|
|Friday 27th February|
|Northampton 17 - 13 Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com