Saracens boss Mark McCall hailed the match-winning brutality of wrecking ball Billy Vunipola after the England No8 scored a last-gasp try to secure a bonus-point 38-3 victory over Newcastle Falcons yesterday.
Retiring fly-half Charlie Hodgson touched down as part of a 21-point haul, while back-row forward Samuela Vunisa and centre Nick Tomkins also crossed the line as unbeaten Saracens returned to the summit of the Premiership table.
Victory in front of watching England head coach Eddie Jones moved the Allianz Park outfit three points clear of second-placed Exeter, who thumped Wasps 41-27 at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.
“We stayed with it until the end and proved it’s very important to be able to bring players like Billy [Vunipola] off the bench,” said McCall. “It wasn’t the most attractive of games. Newcastle came with a kicking plan and I was pleased with the patience and energy we showed.”
Newcastle remained winless so far this season and are marooned in 11th place in the table, although director of rugby Dean Richards expects a number of his side to catch the eye of the newly-appointed Jones in the coming months.
He said: “I’ve not spoken to Eddie Jones, but I would have thought a lot of our guys should be in with a shout for England in the future, especially our hooker George McGuigan.”