Farrell on as Sarries cruise
By Michael Wise
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Andy Farrell made his long-awaited debut as Saracens beat Newcastle 44-20.
Andy Farrell made his long-awaited Guinness Premiership debut as his Saracens side inflicted a 44-20 defeat on Newcastle Falcons at Vicarage Road.
The former Great Britain and Wigan rugby league captain, who will attend an England training session on Tuesday, came on as a 64th minute substitute.
And Farrell immediately made his presence felt by securing lineout possession that resulted in a try for the home side.
That particular score was Sarries' fifth of the afternoon, their strong showing resulting in a first Premiership win of the season.
Saracens' try-scorers were Matt Cairns, Kevin Yates, Ben Russell, Kevin Sorrell and Shane Byrne, with fly-half Glen Jackson kicking 19 points.
In contrast, Newcastle's performance was ordinary, with their tries coming from centre Jamie Noon, scrum-half James Grindall and debutant winger Tim Visser.
The visitors played Toby Flood in place of the injured Jonny Wilkinson and they were soon under pressure, Falcons indiscipline allowing Jackson to kick three penalties in the opening ten minutes.
Matt Burke responded in kind before inspiring a surprise lead for his side, the Falcons captain making an angled run before an inside pass set up Noon to touch down.
Flood converted, but Saracens' forward line burst the floodgates open with a reply on 19 minutes, a driven line-out ending with Cairns' try.
Jackson converted, with some superb mauling from Saracens then allowing Yates in to score under the posts.
But Newcastle were offered respite when Hugh Vyvyan was sin-binned for deliberate offside, the visitors exploiting their man advantage at the line-out with Grindall scoring.
Flood missed both the conversion and a later penalty, ensuring Saracens a 23-15 lead at the interval.
And they were quickly in the ascendancy come the second half, the sin-binning of Falcons flanker Mike McCarthy for tipping David Seymour at a line-out leading to two Saracens tries in three minutes.
Russell firstly pounced when Saracens' pack drove Newcastle over their own line, with Sorrell then weaving his way through the opposing defence for a well-taken solo effort.
Jackson converted both, with Saracens' healthy 37-15 lead enough for coach Alan Gaffney to introduce Farrell.
Thomas Castaignede also came on, with Farrell immediately influential as his lineout take resulted in a try for replacement hooker Byrne.
Jackon converted, but with Visser touching down a late consolation effort, Newcastle's record of seven months without an away league win stands.