Mark McCall praised the quality of Saracens’ squad after they held of a spirited Newcastle Falcons to win their 18th Premiership game of the season with a 23-18 victory at Kingston Park.

Tim Streather and Ben Ransom scored the tries for the visitors, with 13 points from Charlie Hodgson helping to cement the Men in Black’s spot at the top of the table.

“It was a tough game and we expected a tough game,” the director of rugby told Sarries’ official website.

“After last week we took the opportunity to leave a few players at home this weekend. We’ve got a six-day turnaround for the Clermont [Heineken Cup] semi-final and today showed the quality of the squad, to come up here and come away with a win, we’re chuffed with that.”

McCall added: “Today’s result creates a feelgood feelings around the club. A lot of the players who played today haven’t played that much in the last few weeks and they got their opportunity today and took it which is wonderful, and we are looking forward to the preparation for next week now.”