Premiership leaders Saracens claimed victory over Newcastle at Kingston Park on Sunday but Alex Tait’s late try ensured the home side snatched a vital bonus point in their battle against relegation.
Sinoti Sinoti scored an early try for the Falcons but Tim Streather and Ben Ransom crossed over for Sarries before Tait grabbed a reward for Newcastle four minutes from time. Charlie Hodgson kicked the rest of Saracens’ points with namesake Joel booting two penalties for Newcastle and Phil Godman slotting a conversion.
The home side got off to the best possible start with a try after just three minutes when Adam Powell’s inside pass found Tait arriving at pace just inside halfway, who surged through to link with Mark Wilson and the big No 8 threw out a long pass for Sinoti to score in the corner.
Jack Wilson took out Tait in the air in the eighth minute to earn himself a yellow card, but Saracens showed why they are top of the table by scoring an impressive try while he was in the sin-bin, finished by Streather after some adept handling in the build-up.
In the second half the Falcons pack pressured their opponents and a 57th minute penalty at the scrum led to Joel Hodgson cutting the lead to two points.
But Charlie Hodgson’s penalty eased Saracens 16-11 ahead, but the Falcons had themselves to blame when Sinoti threw a wild pass to no-one 30 metres from the visitors’ line and Ransom raced away for a try.
Newcastle threw everything into attack in the closing minutes in search of a losing bonus point and they were rewarded when Tait scrambled over and the try was eventually confirmed by the television match official.