Quins collect early Christmas gift

Sat, 22 Dec 2012 18:43
Large danny care tackled 630 Large danny care3 630 Large danny care kicks

Harlequins scrumhalf Danny Care claimed Christmas had come early for the Premiership champions.

Harlequins scrumhalf Danny Care claimed Christmas had come early for the Premiership champions after battling through tough conditions to beat Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens.

Nick Evans scored all of Quins' points from the kicking tee as the game was dominated by the boot due to the slippery conditions - the New Zealander coming out on top in the 18-9 victory.

And 25-year-old Care insisted Quins had thrown down their impressive title credentials for all of the Premiership to see.

"That is a massive win for us. We wanted to come and lay down a statement to the rest of the Premiership," he said.

"We are champions and we want to be the champions again so this was a massive win for us.

"On a day like it was, nobody wants to play rugby in it, but you have to play the conditions and I thought we played it better than they did especially Mike Brown at the back who was outstanding.

"We thought we would put the pressure on them rather than have it on us and I thought we did that well.

"We just came to do a job, we worked hard in the week. We had a poor session Tuesday but we regrouped and came through and worked really well.

"We are just delighted to have got a nice early Christmas present for ourselves."

The game looked to be heading in Saints' favour when James Johnston was sent to the sin-bin and they quickly evened things up to 6-6 midway through the second half.

But by the time Johnston returned to the field the score was 12-6 and the home team were unable to drag themselves back into the game.

And Saints coach Jim Mallinder admitted he was devastated to be denied a losing bonus point as Evans slotted a penalty with the last kick of the game.

"It was gutting because after 60 minutes we were six all with the momentum going our way but we made some mistakes and it was very disappointing - to concede like we did was a poor penalty," he said.

"It was a close game and I think we'll probably look back on the 60-minute mark where they were down to 14 and we should have taken more of an advantage of the numbers.

"But we didn't and they scored a penalty in that time to make it 9-6 and from then the pressure just mounted.

"I think it was always going to be a territorial game because of the conditions but generally in the first half it was fairly even but in the second half certainly their half-backs played very well.

"I don't think we'll use [last week's win over Ulster] as an excuse. We had a good week build up and both sides looked tired. It was tough conditions, a tight game and they handled themselves better."

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
Sat, 01 April 2017
Blues v Force 04h15 Auckland
Chiefs v Bulls 06h35 Hamilton
Reds v Hurricanes 08h45 Suncorp Stadium
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h05 DHL Newlands
Zebre v Connacht 14h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Lions v Sharks 15h05 Ellis Park Stadium
Leinster v Wasps 15h15 Dublin
Munster v Toulouse 17h45 Limerick
Sun, 02 April 2017
Waratahs v Crusaders 06h05 Allianz Park
Saracens v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Allianz Park
Clermont Auvergne v Toulon 15h15 Clermont-Ferrand
Mon, 03 April 2017
Maties v UJ 14h30 Stellenbosch
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 17h00 Pretoria
Thu, 06 April 2017
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 18 14 1 3 69
Exeter Chiefs 18 11 3 4 64
Saracens 18 13 1 4 63
Leicester Tigers 18 11 0 7 51
Bath 18 10 0 8 48
Harlequins 18 10 0 8 47
Northampton Saints 18 9 0 9 45
Gloucester 18 6 2 10 40
Newcastle Falcons 18 7 0 11 36
Sale Sharks 18 5 1 12 30
Worcester Warriors 18 4 2 12 26
Bristol 18 3 0 15 17