Oct 06, 2014
Quins 'A' blown away by Storm
In a game that had more spills than thrills, Saracens Storm continued their impressive early season winning streak with a 3-27 win against Harlequins ‘A’ at a rain sodden Stoop.
Tries from England U20 duo Maro Itoje and Nick Tompkins, plus a Penalty Try see Saracens Storm maintain their 100% start to the season.
Sitting at the top of the Premiership A-League Southern Conference, the Storm travelled to South-West London to face a strong Harlequins ‘A’ side that included the likes of George Lowe, Ben Botica, Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Rob Buchanan in their staring XV.
In the first-half, Storm half-back Ben Spencer and Quins ‘A’ Ben Botica exchanged penalties to make the score line 3-3. Playing in greasy conditions both sides struggled to handle the soap-like ball, with scrums a regular occurrence.
Luckily for the Storm, their scrum was a powerful weapon which continually forced the Harlequins ‘A’ pack to concede penalties. Yet, despite enjoying the lion’s share of the territory and possession, the Storm just couldn't hang on to the ball.
So it was a welcomed sight when Storm skipper Maro Itoje powered his way over to give the visitors a 3-10 lead just on half-time. The blindside flanker shunting his way over from close range – Ben Spencer duly converted.
With Joe Shaw’s half-time words of encouragement still ringing in their ears, the Storm looked to step up their game in the second-half with skipper Itoje leading from the front in a Man of the Match display.
On 45th minute mark, Ben Spencer sent over another penalty kick before the Storm ran in their second try of the evening.
From a scrum metres into Harlequins ‘A’ territory, the ball found its way centre Max Wilkins, who rolled in a beautifully judged grubber kick in behind the Quins ‘A’ defence. Racing onto the kick was Wilkins’ midfield partner Nick Tompkins who gleefully fell on the rolling ball to score. Spencer converted expertly from the right-hand touchline as the Storm led 3-20.
Then came Saracens third and final try. Jack Culverhouse, and in particular tighthead Biyi Alo had caused their opposite numbers untold trouble throughout the game, so it was a just reward when a Harlequins ‘A’ scrum that continued to splinter under the Storm pressure was penalised repeatedly by the match-official.
The Referee's patience was wearing thin, and after conceding a third consecutive penalty he awarded the penalty try. Spencer converted as the Storm march on in the Southern A-League Conference with their 100% record intact.
Saracens Storm vs Harlequins ‘A:
15. Will Edwards; 14. Mike Ellery, 13. Nick Tompkins, 12. Max Wilkins, 11. Jack Wilson; 10. Nils Mordt, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Jack Culverhouse, 2. Scott Spurling, 3. Biyi Alo, 4. Hayden Smith, 5. Mouritz Botha, 6. Maro Itoje ©, 7. Matt Hankin, 8. Nick De Jager.
Replacements: 16. Phil Thiel, 17. Ollie Mines, 18. Ben Featherstone, 19. Kennet O’Neill, 20. Don Barrell, 21. Tom Whitely, 22. Matt Gallagher, 23. George Perkins.
Tries: Maro Itoje, Nick Tompkins, Penalty Try
Conversions: Ben Spencer 3/3
Penalties: Ben Spencer 3/4.