Sarries smash Falcons
Home side run in five tries at Vicarage Road for first win
By Simon Dilger. Last Updated: 22/09/08 1:38pm
Jackson: Influential display
Saracens completed a 44-14 demolition of Newcastle at Vicarage Road on Sunday to secure their first Guinness Premiership victory of the season.
The hosts ran in five tries courtesy of Kameli Ratuvou, Kevin Sorrell, Hugh Vyvyan, Rod Penney and Gordon Ross while fly-half Glen Jackson claimed a further 17 points with the boot.
The influential Jackson outshone England star Jonny Wilkinson, slotting four penalties, a drop goal and a conversion.
Coach Eddie Jones started with the same line-up that had suffered narrow defeats in the opening two games of the campaign, the last through a Charlie Hodgson drop goal in the dying seconds at Sale last weekend.
Jones' faith in his side was soon rewarded with Jackson kicking three penalties in the opening 21 minutes, but the hosts were unable to turn their superiority into tries in the first half.
A 30-metre drop goal and another penalty from Jackson with the last kick before the whistle saw Saracens end the first period with a 15-0 lead.
After the break the Saracens pack stamped its authority on the game and, with its dominance, the tries soon followed.
A 70-metre run to within stretching distance of the Falcons line by left-wing Ratuvou on 44 minutes was only prevented by a desperate diving tackle from Wilkinson.
But one minute later the Fijian charged down a kick from visiting right-wing Tom May and dived over for the first try of the game.
Saracens struck again just three minutes later, Ratuvou once more in the thick of it after latching onto an exquisite crossfield kick from Jackson.
The winger chipped centre Spencer Davey, collected and committed May and Wilkinson before putting Sorrel into the gap inside for a clear run to the line.
Newcastle were reduced to 13 players midway through the half with skipper Phil Dowson and back row colleague Ed Williamson both yellow-carded within a minute of each other.
With the latter the hosts turned down the opportunity to take the three points opting instead to release Vyvyan, who powered over the line for Sarries' third.
On 66 minutes Neil de Kock broke from inside his own 22 and, taking full advantage of the visitors' depleted numbers drew May and Wilkinson before neatly passing inside for right-wing Penney to score.
With the bonus point secure Scottish international Ross, Jackson's replacement at fly-half, rubbed salt in the wound, claiming Sarries' fifth try then adding the extras himself.
Two consolation tries late on from May and Wilkinson did nothing to alleviate Newcastle's travelling woes - the side are still without an away league win in 2008.