Sunderland 6 Newcastle 0: How did our reporters assess the 'secret derby' hammering?

Sunderland beat Newcastle 6-0 in the behind-closed doors friendly
Sunderland beat Newcastle 6-0 in the behind-closed doors friendly

It may not have counted but local bragging rights firmly belonged to Sunderland supporters after their side hammered Newcastle United 6-0 in the infamous 'secret derby'.

Duncan Watmore bagged a hat-trick, Steven Fletcher a brace and Jack Rodwell also found himself on the scoresheet at the Stadium of Light in the behind-closed doors 'friendly'.

But what did our Sunderland and Newcastle reporters make of the game, organised by both sides to boost the fitness of some of the fringe players?

Chris Young, Sunderland AFC writer:

Clearly, the mainstays of Sunderland's side have needed a breather this week after they were so alarmingly heavy-legged at times in last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Bournemouth.

Yet Sam Allardyce needs those waiting in the wings to be ready to take their opportunities.

The likes of Jack Rodwell, Steven Fletcher and Duncan Watmore will inevitably be called upon in the coming months and Sunderland cannot afford for them to be rusty, given the current state of the relegation battle.

The same applies to new signings Jan Kirchhoff and Dame N'Doye, with the latter not playing a competitive game for more than a month.

Clearly, there were a few reservations from Allardyce about throwing N'Doye into the fray from the bench against Bournemouth.

Playing against fellow Premier League players, rather than a friendly against a lower league side, should do the Senegal international the world of good ahead of a crucial month in the survival battle.

That's the big benefit of the "secret derby".

The scoreline just provides Sunderland fans with something to smile about.

Miles Starforth, Newcastle United writer:

The scoreline doesn't tell the whole story, embarrassing as it may sound.

The Sunderland team fielded by Sam Allardyce was significantly stronger than that which assistant coach Ian Cathro, put in charge by United head coach Steve McClaren, sent out in the behind-closed-doors fixture.

Cathro’s side included young players Liam Gibson, Dan Barlaser, Callum Roberts and Sean Longstaff.

The inexperienced Gibson played at left-back, with Paul Dummett, Massadio Haidara and Jack Colback all sidelined through injury.

Florian Thauvin, one fringe player who was surely in need of a game for the relegation-threatened club, wasn’t involved.

By contrast, Sunderland, two points behind 18th-placed Newcastle in the Premier League table, named a significantly more experienced starting XI.

It wasn't about the result, though results in meetings between Newcastle and Sunderland always matter to some extent.

There was still pride at stake, and United's derby pride took another dent.

Fortunately, no supporters were there to see it, though plenty on Wearside would have gladly paid to watch to watch the practice game given their team’s record against United in recent seasons.

Let's be clear, it wasn't a seventh successive derby win for Sunderland.

It doesn't count, but the result was still hard to take on Tyneside.

* To find out the teams that played in the game, click here: