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SAINTS 42 FALCONS 16 Saints up and running in MK

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Saints opened up their home campaign with a five try win against Newcastle in Milton Keynes, a quartet of second half scores delighting over 20,000 in black, green and gold at stadiummk.

Having started the stronger, Saints carried a 16-9 lead into the break before putting their foot to the floor in the second half and overwhelming a spirited but ill-disciplined Falcons side - Christian Day and Ben Foden both helping themselves to a pair of tries.

If the home side were looking for a quick start after the disappointment of last week’s performance that’s exactly what they got.

They wasted no time sending a scrum penalty to the corner and a couple of mauls later it was Day rumbling over with the ball under his arm. Myler converted and quickly extended the lead with a pair of penalties - both for offside - but Mike Delany put the visitors’ on the board when the Saints were found guilty of the same offence.

The points seemed to settle the Falcons and while a sharp Adam Powell break ended with a poor pass into touch, a scrum against the head eventually allowed Delany to double his tally from the tee. Newcastle would keep chipping away and though few chances were being created in open play, three more points would be just reward for their endeavour, even if they were immediately cancelled out by Myler on the stroke of half-time.

With a slippery ball making things difficult handling-wise, Saints began the second half by playing the territory and sticking it up the jumper - a tactic that soon paid dividends. Todd Clever was shown yellow when Newcastle sacked a trio of Saints mauls but when the ball came wide, agonisingly it would squirm free from Foden’s grasp with the line beckoning.

The pressure though was becoming too much for Newcastle and when Saints dismantled the resulting scrum, another well constructed maul carried Day over for his second of the afternoon and some welcome breathing space.

Saints were ignited and with Day dragged inches short of a hat-trick, they kept the ball alive to go quickly left, where Luther Burrell’s pick and drive converted number three.

The patience of playing in the right areas was finally starting to count on the scoreboard and bright work from Ken Pisi laid the foundations for Foden to burst over for the bonus point score.

Yet having effectively sealed the game, the Saints then suffered their first real lapse of concentration in defence. Chris Harris made the break and put it on a plate for Tom Penny, but it was to prove only a brief respite from a black, green and gold tidal wave.

Michael Paterson was shepherded into touch just five metres out but when a scrum decision went the Saints’ way, a slick move ended with Foden darting over for his second of the afternoon, putting the seal on a satisfying afternoon's work.

5mins SAINTS Try Day Con Myler 7-0
9mins SAINTS Pen Myler 10-0
13mins SAINTS Pen Myler 13-0
15mins FALCONS Pen Delany 13-3
26mins FALCONS Pen Delany 13-6
36mins FALCONS Pen Delany 13-9
39mins SAINTS Pen Myler 16-9
51mins FALCONS Yellow Clever
55mins SAINTS Try Day Con Myler 23-6
59mins SAINTS Try Burrell 28-9
65mins SAINTS Try Foden Con Myler 35-9
67mins FALCONS Try Penny Con Catterick 36-16
73mins SAINTS Try Foden Con Myler 43-16

SAINTS Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell, Elliott; Myler, Dickson (capt); A Waller, Hartley, Brookes, Lawes, Day, Gibson, Wood, Dickinson

Haywood, E Waller, Hill, Paterson, Fisher, Fotuali’i, Hanrahan, Tuala

FALCONS Hammersley; Venditti, Harris, Powell, Tuilagi; Delany, Tipuna; Vickers, Lawson, Welsh, Green, Furno, Clever, Latu, Hogg (capt)

McGuigan, Fry, Vea, Botha, Welch, Dawson, Catterick, Penny

REFFEREE Dean Richards

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