Match Report

- - 20

Newcastle Falcons - 0

Sunday 21st Sep 2014

Northampton Saints showed their champion class with a 35-10 Aviva Premiership victory over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park on Sunday.

A side laden with internationals attacked ruthlessly, their power running and offload game finding gaps at regular intervals as Newcastle continue to search for their first win of the season despite an improved second-half showing.

A punishing first half saw the Saints over the try-line for the first time in the fifth minute when a blind-side break allowed Will Hooley over in the left corner.

The former England Under-20s Fly Half put in an accomplished performance in place of the injured Stephen Myler, calmly adding the touchline conversion and slotting a sixth-minute penalty from the 22 when Ally Hogg was sent to the sin bin.

A second Hooley penalty took it to double figures, Newcastle looking strong in the scrum as Kieran Brookes packed down on the loose-head side.

Simon Hammersley again offered a running threat from Full Back, Josh Furno and Alesana Tuilagi combining down the left as the Falcons probed for an in-road.

The Saints were having no such problems making their attacks count, Alex Waller pumping his legs for their second try after George North’s counter-attack and Kahn Fotuali’i’s offload.

Juan Pablo Socino got the Falcons off the mark with a 19th minute penalty as Northampton’s midfield strayed offside, Hooley chipping another three for the visitors from just left of the posts.

Newcastle’s attacking intentions became their undoing when a quickly-tapped penalty inside their own half was turned over, Fotuali’i giving Ken Pisi a walk-in between the posts which Hooley converted for a 28-3 half-time lead.

Scott Wilson at Tighthead augmented his solid scrummaging with a handful of carries in the loose, Furno also lively in the back-field as the home side began the second half with vigour.

Gonzalo Tiesi’s introduction from the bench saw Socino switching to Fly Half in a reshuffled back line, Newcastle winning repeated penalties inside Northampton’s 22 but the Saints repelling them through highly-organised defence.

Northampton old-boy Noah Cato came in from his wing for a couple of midfield carries, the hosts at least stemming the first-half tide of points and managing a foray of their own when Hammersley broke clear.

His attempted offload to Tuilagi was only just clawed in by a scrambling Saints defence, but there was no stopping Cato on 69 minutes when the former Saint scurried down the blind-side for a well-taken try.

Socino chipped over the conversion to reach double figures, the Argentinian shining with the extra responsibility at Fly Half as he linked with runners on either side.

But it was the visitors who had the last say, North powering over in the left corner for the bonus-point try as the champions took the full five points from the afternoon.

S Hammersley, N Cato, A Powell, JP Socino, Al Tuilagi (S Sinoti, 70), P Godman (G Tiesi, 47), M Blair (W Fury, 54); K Brookes (A Rogers, 78), S Lawson, S Wilson, C Green, D Barrow, J Furno (M Wilson, 46), W Welch (c), A Hogg.

Sin-bin: A Hogg (6)

B Foden, K Pisi, G Pisi (D Waldouck, 61), L Burrell, G North, W Hooley (J Wilson, 69), K Fotuali’i (L Dickson, 56); A Waller (A Corbisiero, 63), D Hartley (captain, R McMillan, 69) S Ma’afu (G Denman, 56), C Lawes (J Craig, 46), C Day, C Clark (P Dowson, 56), J Fisher, S Manoa.

Referee: G Garner. Attendance: 5,057.