MATCH REPORT: Saracens Storm 66-19 Harlequins ‘A’
Saracens Storm returned to action in sensational fashion as they defeated Harlequins ‘A’ 66-19 at StoneX Stadium.
Storm scored 10 tries, five in each half en route to an impressive victory against their local rivals in North London.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring with 10 minutes on the clock, as Brett Herron danced his way to the line. From the base of a scrum he got the ball from first phase, and stepped past his opposite number to stretch over. Herron then converted his own try to give Quins a 7-0 lead.
Sarries then significantly improved and overturned the deficit with two tries in quick succession. Janco Venter got them on the scoreboard as he benefitted from Joel Kpoku’s brilliant charge down to cross from close range, and Manu Vunipola’s conversion levelled the score.
Storm then forced their way in front just five minutes later after Elliott Obatoyinbo stepped from half way all the way up to the line but was hauled down just short. Quins then had Jack Stafford sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on, and from the resulting penalty they were never going to be stopped as Kapeli Pifeleti powered over.
Ali Crossdale then scored an outstanding individual try to extend the lead further. A fine play from set-piece gave the winger space in behind, and he made no mistake by sprinting straight across the defence and diving over in the corner. Vunipola’s fine touchline conversion extended the lead to 21-7.
Toby Knight then scored twice just before the break to put the hosts firmly in the ascendancy. For the first score he was in support of Ralph Adams Hale who had rampaged his way towards the line, and then with the final play of the half he went over from just a metre out after Harry Sloan had been brought down within touching distance of the whitewash.
Vunipola converted both scores, meaning Sarries went down the tunnel with a 35-7 lead at half time.
Storm started the second half in similar fashion, and took just seven minutes to add another try to the scoreboard. A penalty was kicked to the corner, and then the rolling maul rumbled to the line with Eroni Mawi at the base to capitalise.
Quins then responded with a maul try of their own to cross for their second of the game, but Sarries would then dominate the last half an hour as they brought up a huge score in the local derby.
Crossdale scored his second in scintillating style as he chipped ahead from half way and eventually it bounced up perfectly for him after causing the Quins defence all kinds of trouble, and allowed him to dot down unattended.
Ollie Stonham then scored to bring up the half century for the hosts as they started to play with real freedom. Sloan’s offload found Obatoyinbo, and then the winger found Stonham who could cross in the corner.
Tom Mills then joined the party just minutes after coming on as a zipped pass from Vunipola allowed him to run on to the ball at pace, and the conversion took the lead up to 59-12.
Mawi then got his second as he found himself with acres of space in the 22 and was able to stretch over with a broad smile on his face, and despite Quins crossing for a late consolation, the day well and truly belonged to the home side who showed exactly what they are capable of with a resounding win.