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Gallagher Premiership: Newcastle Falcons 21 Saracens 32 - player ratings

PUBLISHED: 17:55 02 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:55 02 September 2018

Saracens Jamie George makes a late break during the Gallagher Premiership match at Kingston Park, Newcastle. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

Saracens Jamie George makes a late break during the Gallagher Premiership match at Kingston Park, Newcastle. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Saracens began their Gallagher Premiership Rugby season away to Newcastle Falcons. Read how Archant’s NEIL METCALFE rated the players at Kingston Park.

Saracens battled to a hard-fought opening day victory at Kingston Park over Newcastle Falcons.Saracens battled to a hard-fought opening day victory at Kingston Park over Newcastle Falcons.

Saracens:

Mako Vunipola: 6 – Won’t be given many tougher games than this for the rest of the season. Never given a moment’s space when he got hold of the ball.

Jamie George: 8 – Had a tough time in the scrum but was outstanding in the loose. Took his try superbly but for the rest of the time seemed to play more like a back row than a front row. All over the park.

Vincent Koch: 6 – Like his front-row team-mates was up against it in the scrum but his shock of blond hair was always visible in the loose.

Maro Itoje: 6 – Quiet day for a future England captain. Such is his enormous talent that when he is kept under the cosh as he was today, it shows massively.

Will Skelton: 7 – A stereotypical ‘big lump’ but was a constant menace at the breakdown with his immense presence always in the face of the Falcons attackers.

Mike Rhodes: 6 – Does a lot of things unseen and worked hard to stem the Falcons’ attack.

Ben Earl: 7 – Worked hard at the breakdown but got his chance to go forward on occasion. Tackled well as you would want.

Jackson Wray: 6 – Another who had a tough afternoon in the face of a hard-working Falcons attack. Stuck to his task well.

Richard Wigglesworth: 6 – Late call-up to the starting XV but had a tough game at the base of the scrum and rucks. Grew into it though as the contest went on.

Owen Farrell: 7 – A metronome with the boot as usual but linked up superbly with his backs to find what precious little space there was.

Sean Maitland: 6 – Replaced early before he had a chance to cut loose.

Brad Barritt: 6 – A steady if unspectacular showing from the skipper. Much more focused on the defensive side of the game than the attacking one.

Alex Lozowski: 8 – His silky running meant he was the only one who ever really found space, and it helped Saracens all day long.

David Strettle: 7 – A decent showing on his second Saracens debut. Had a hand in the first try and had a fantastic battle with Falcons’ Adam Radwan. Off early in the second half after a big bang to the head on the ground.

Alex Goode: 6 – A yellow card ended his game 10 minutes early. Another one who had a tough afternoon where he was unable to find his groove.

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