Apr 07, 2017
Bonus point Saracens overcome Quins at Wembley
Saracens produced a confident Derby Day display to beat Harlequins 40-19 in front of 71,324 supporters at Wembley on Saturday afternoon.
In blazing sunshine under the arch Harlequins began the game well, putting the hosts to the sword with some good early pressure. However, a try on the break from Chris Ashton gave Sarries a deserved lead. It was the 30-year-old’s sixth try in six Wembley games.
Schalk Brits added the hosts’ second try soon after as Quins were subjected to sustained pressure by the Men in Black’s intense attack. As half-time arrived, Quins were keeping within touching distance thanks, in part, to the kicking of Nick Evans.
The second half saw the hosts pull away from their South London rivals as tries from Michael Rhodes and Alex Goode in the closing stages secured victory and a bonus point. James Horwill’s consolation was not enough for the away side as the game finished 40-19.
Nick Evans opened the scoring for Quins in the 11th minute. An infringement from Sarries was punished by Wayne Barnes and the Kiwi was on hand to slot the ball between the posts for an early three-point lead.
Ashton struck back for the hosts in the 16th minute. The winger showed great persistence to chase down a kick through from Alex Goode and touch down in the corner. Farrell’s conversion gave Saracens a 7-3 lead.
The home side extended their lead in the 23rd minute with a try from Brits. The South African broke off the back of a maul before powering towards the try-line and touching down.
After the try was confirmed by the TMO Owen Farrell added a conversion to make the score 14-3.
Three minutes later, Evans pulled back three points for the visitors with another penalty from in front of the posts. On the half-hour mark the Kiwi added a further three points with a penalty from long-range to cut the deficit to five points
Farrell struck back for Saracens with 34 minutes played, an offside from Quins handing the fly-half a shot from in-front of the posts, a chance that he duly took to make the half-time score 17-9.
Farrell began the second half as he finished the first – by scoring a penalty for Saracens. This time it was from near half-way but proved light work for the 25-year-old who dispatched the kick to restore an 11-point lead for Sarries in the 41st minute.
In the 49th minute, Evans’ right boot once more got the scoreboard ticking for Quins after Maro Itoje was penalised for going off his feet at the ruck. The fly-half’s penalty taking the score to 20-12.
With 61 minutes played Farrell scored his third penalty of the match from wide out on the left after an infringement from the away side. The fly-half added a fourth eight minutes later to make the score 26-12.
Michael Rhodes added Saracens’ third try in the 72nd minute. The blindside flanker was set through from the ’22 and evaded the attentions of the Quins defence to cross the whitewash. Farrell added the extras to make the score 33-12.
Harlequins were rewarded for their considerable efforts with a late consolation try through James Horwill. The lock powered over from five metres out before Evans’ conversion made the score 33-19.
Mark McCall’s charges were not done there though, as Alex Goode added a late try in the corner to secure a bonus point and take the final score to 40-19 after Farrell converted. The win sees Saracens confirm their place in the top four of the Aviva Premiership and book a place in the semi finals.
15 Alex Goode; 14 Chris Ashton(Tomkins 65); 13 Duncan Taylor; 12 Brad Barritt (c)( Barritt 72);11 Sean Maitland(Flanagan 74); 10 Owen Farrell; 9 Ben Spencer(Wigglesworth 51); 1 Mako Vunipola(Lamositele 46); 2 Schalk Brits( George 54); 3 Vincent Koch(Du Plessis 59);4 Maro Itoje;
5 Jim Hamilton( Conlon 23); 6 Michael Rhodes; 7 Jackson Wray;8 Billy Vunipola:
Replacements 16 Jamie George; 17 Titi Lamositele; 18 Petrus Du Plessis;19 Mark Flanagan;
20 Joel Conlon; 21 Richard Wigglesworth; 22 Alex Lozowski; 23 Nick Tompkins:
Scores Tries Ashton(17); Brits(24); Rhodes (73);Goode(78):
Cons Farrell 4/4
Penalties Farrell 4/4
- Mike Brown (VC); 14. Marland Yarde; 13. Joe Marchant; 12. Jamie Roberts;11. Tim Visser( Alofa 65);
- Nick Evans(Swiel 74); 9. Danny Care (C)(Mulchrone 74); 1. Joe Marler(65); 2. Rob Buchanan( Gray 56); 3. Will Collier(Sinckler 56); 4. George Merrick( Matthews 56);5. James Horwill (VC); 6. Chris Robshaw; 7. Jack Clifford( Ward 4); 8. Mat Luamanu:
Replacements 16. Joe Gray; 17. Mark Lambert; 18. Kyle Sinckler; 19. Charlie Matthews; 20. Dave Ward;
- Charlie Mulchrone; 22. Tim Swiel; 23. Alofa Alofa:
Scores Try Horwill(75)
Scoring sequence 0-3 Evans pen; 5-3 Ashton try; 7-3 Farrell con; 12-3 Brits try; 14-3 Farrell con;
14-6 Evans pen; 14-9 Evans pen; 17-9 Farrell pen; 20-9 Farrell pen; 20-12 Evans pen; 23-12 Farrell pen; 26-12 Farrell pen; 31-12 Rhodes try; 33-12 Farrell con; 33-17 Horwill try; 33-19 Swiel con; 38-19 Goode try; 40-19 Farrell con:
Man of the Match Duncan Taylor