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Sea air proves Sarries tonic

SARACENS (58) vs NEWCASTLE (15)

A SEASIDE break in Brighton helped Saracens shake off a four-match losing streak and breathe fresh life into their flagging play-off hopes.

The Premiership’s early pace-setters got back on track with a seven-try mauling of Newcastle, with Schalk Brits and Ernst Joubert both touching down twice.

Further scores from Noah Cato, Andy Saull and Richard Haughton, plus 23 points from the boot of Glen Jackson, set Saracens up well for looming trips to Northampton, Leicester and Gloucester.

“The guys really got stuck in,” said boss Brendan Venter. “We went to Brighton for two days, and it’s amazing what that kind of time together can do. We had a great night out and this happens.

“All the coaching doesn’t work, then we go have a few beers and score seven tries. Just a joke, but that break did us a lot of good. We face some very tough games now, but I look forward to that because this team can beat any team in the country when we get things right.”

Newcastle replied with four penalties and a drop-goal from fly-half Jimmy Gopperth, and director of rugby Steve Bates admitted his team had suffered a “comprehensive beating – out-thought, out-fought and missed tackles for two tries knocked the stuffing out of us.”