Saracens 19-24 Harlequins

Danny Care

Saracens (12) 19

Farrell 4

Harlequins (14) 24

Turner-Hall, Lowe, Care
Clegg, Evans 2

Premiership leaders Harlequins held on to defeat London rivals Saracens in front of a world record club rugby crowd of 83,761 fans at Wembley.

Tries from Jordan Turner-Hall, George Lowe and Danny Care took Quins into a commanding lead, only Owen Farrell's boot keeping Sarries in touch.

A Richard Wigglesworth try then put Saracens within a score of Quins.

But, despite finishing with 13 men, the leaders staved off Sarries' late challenge to stay top of the table.

Having opened a 24-12 lead with their three tries from Turner-Hall, Lowe and Care, Quins still required a great defensive performance to secure victory.

Lowe produced two brilliant try-saving tackles in the space of three minutes as Saracens threw the kitchen sink at the Premiership leaders.

Eventually, when Harlequins had Joe Marler and Care in the sin-bin, Wigglesworth stole over for the try on his comeback from injury.

Harlequins then saw Nick Easter replace Marler in the sin-bin and they finished the match with 13 men but hung for the victory that opens a six-point gap at the top of the Premiership table.

The attendance beat the previous world record club rugby attendance of 82,208, set in the 2009 Heineken Cup quarter-final between Leinster and Munster at Croke Park.

It means that a total of 165,781 fans have now watched this season's two Premiership matches between the two London rivals, Harlequins' 'home' game having attracted 82,000 to Twickenham.

After Turner-Hall's try had put Harlequins ahead, the outstanding Lowe, who is already on the radar of England head coach Stuart Lancaster, produced an excellent finish to score his side's second.

Care added a third after the break but Saracens refused to buckle and besieged Quins.

Lowe kept the Premiership champions at bay with brilliant try-saving tackles on Michael Tagicakibau and Chris Wyles in the space of three minutes.

As Harlequins tried to withstand the pressure they had three men sin-binned - Joe Marler, Care and Nick Easter.

Sarries' pressure was rewarded when Wigglesworth finally stole over while Marler and Care were both off the field.

Farrell added the conversion to his four first-half penalties, which was enough to secure Saracens the losing bonus point and move them back up to second place.


Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea:

"I have to pinch myself to think that George Lowe is 22.

"He is an outstanding outside centre. Hopefully, he can put himself on the map during the end of the season having been unfortunate with injury earlier.

"If the team is being successful then people get recognised.''


Saracens: Goode; Strettle, Wyles, Farrell, Short; Hodgson, de Kock; Stevens, Brits, Nieto, Borthwick (capt), Botha, Melck, Fraser, Joubert.

Replacements: George, Vunipola, du Plessis, Kruis, Wray, Wigglesworth, Powell, Tagicakibau.

Harlequins: Brown; Williams, Lowe, Turner-Hall, Monye; Evans, Care; Marler, Buchanan, Johnston, Kohn, Robson, Fa'asavalu, Robshaw (capt), Easter.

Replacements: Croall, Lambert, Collier, Vallejos, Guest, Dickson, Clegg, Chisholm.

Attendance: 83,761.