Jan 27, 2019
The whole club is proud of the boys - Powell
A bonus-point win for Saracens over London rivals Harlequins secured a place for the Men in Black in the Premiership Rugby Cup semi-finals.
Rotimi Segun raced in for Sarries fourth try in the final minute after scores from Sione Vailanu, Joel Kpoku and Max Malins had set them on course for an all-important victory.
Quins fielded an experienced side at The Stoop which made the result even more pleasing for coach Adam Powell, who was delighted with how his side performed.
“If we hadn’t got the try at the end I would’ve still be extremely happy,” he said.
“I thought our game management was superb. Our half-backs, Max and Tom Whiteley, kicked really well and put us in the right areas; Roti and Ali Crossdale were good at competing for the box kicks and it allowed us to dominate field position.
“We knew on a day like this when that rain was coming down, the second half in particular, we knew if we could dominate field position then we’d be in a good position to win the game and it played out that way.
Powell continued: “There were many good performances. Ralph made a line break for Max to score a try, Joel played really well. I thought Sean Reffell was outstanding and got through a lot of work against two experienced flankers – I’m not sure how many tackles he made in the game! Will Skelton when he came on in the second half added a lot to the team.
“There were a lot of excellent performances; It was a team effort.”
Harlequins were reduced to 14 men in the first half when Renaldo Bothma led a charge into Dom Morris with his forearm, striking the centre in the face.
The hosts came out fighting early in the second half and regained the lead but patience and efficiency from Sarries saw them rally and turn things around superbly.
“They’re an excellent team and they had a lot of experience on the field,” Powell said.
“I know Guzzy (Paul Gustard) very well from when we were at Sarries together and there’s no way a team of his would lie down. We knew it was going to be a ferocious game of rugby and that’s what we got.
“We were patient and it paid off. It’s important for these guys to come here in front of a sell-out crowd, in a hostile environment against an experienced team and use it as a learning opportunity. They’ve learned how to cope with that, to stick to a plan, be disciplined and work unbelievably hard for each other.
“The reality is when you wear a Sarries jersey there’s a certain expectation and the boys matched it, probably surpassed it and set their own standard.
“I’m really proud; the whole club is proud of the boys.”