Sarries surge past Quins

Sun, 24 Mar 2013 17:14
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Saracens surged five points clear at the top of the English Premiership with an emphatic 27-12 win against title rivals Harlequins at Allianz Park on Sunday.

Saracens surged five points clear at the top of the English Premiership with an emphatic 27-12 win against title rivals Harlequins on Sunday.

Hooker Schalk Brits and flank Will Fraser scored the tries for Saracens, with England flyhalf Owen Farrell kicking the leaders' other 17 points.

Flyhalf Nick Evans kept Harlequins in contention into the second half with four penalties from five attempts, but the reigning champions were unable to make much impact on Saracens' rock-solid defence.

Saracens went into the match one point ahead of Leicester, who had moved into second spot with their win over Exeter 24 hours earlier, and four clear of third-placed Harlequins, so this was a significant moment in their challenge to finish top of the table.

Both sides were bolstered by the return of their international stars from Six Nations duty.

England's Farrell, Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt and Mako Vunipola returned for Saracens, along with Scotland captain Kelly Brown.

Harlequins had Mike Brown, Danny Care, Joe Marler and captain Chris Robshaw back in their starting line-up, but it was the hosts who produced the dominant performance.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was impressed with the way his England players cast off the disappointment of their Six Nations defeat against Wales last weekend, which cost them the chance to win the Grand Slam.

"I've got to take my hat off to our English guys who had a difficult weekend last week. All of them, to a man, wanted to play today," McCall said.

"It says a lot about the environment and the general group that they are so keen to come back and enjoy it so much, but some of our non-internationals were pretty good today as well.

"As a team we played really well. Our tackling game caused them some problems and we scored our tries at the right times."

McCall was also delighted with the performance of under-fire England wing Ashton.

"Chris had a really top game and got himself involved, for a guy who has taken his criticism over the last few weeks," McCall added.

"Two years ago we thought Chris Ashton was the best player in the world and he just needs to have the confidence that his coaches believe in him."

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Brits, Fraser
Con: Farrell
Pens: Farrell 5

For Harlequins:
Pens: Evans 4

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (captain), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 George Kruis, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Chris Wyles.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Ugo Monye, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care,8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 George Lowe.

Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank & Robin Goodliffe.
TMO: David Grashoff.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 15 11 1 3 55
Saracens 15 10 1 4 49
Exeter Chiefs 15 8 3 4 49
Bath 15 10 0 5 47
Leicester Tigers 15 9 0 6 43
Harlequins 15 8 0 7 37
Newcastle Falcons 15 7 0 8 36
Northampton Saints 15 7 0 8 35
Gloucester 15 5 2 8 34
Sale Sharks 15 5 1 9 29
Worcester Warriors 15 3 2 10 19
Bristol 15 2 0 13 13