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QUINS 23 SAINTS 27 Saints steal Stoop stunner

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

A late, late Ben Foden try saw the Saints snatch the points from a pulsating encounter at Harlequins, closing the gap to the Aviva Premiership’s top four once more in the process.

A brilliant first half of rugby ended with the visitors 20-17 to the good, Christian Day and Luther Burrell with the tries, but Nick Evans snuck Harlequins in front with the boot as the game tightened up after the break.

Even so, some superb rear guard defence kept the Saints in touch and when Ben Botica commited the cardinal sin of missing touch with time up, Foden kept the ball in play and found himself back on the end of an outstanding move to win it.

The visitors had started strongest, too, turning Tito Tebaldi over from the kick off and after a couple of muscular carries each for Luther Burrell and Sam Dickinson, Tom Wood bundled over the whitewash.

While the TMO couldn’t find conclusive evidence to award the try, Saints stayed on the attack and when Quins strayed offside, Stephen Myler knocked over a simple three points.

It was an advantage that lasted just four minutes though as Quins drew first blood in open play. Mobile prop Kyle Sinckler started the move with a break in midfield and a slick exchange thereafter ended with George Merrick wriggling through.

The hit back was almost immediate and while a Myler penalty thumped an upright, it wasn’t long before the Saints went to the front again. Spotting the opportunity to play on halfway, the visitors moved it quickly to Burrell, the centre’s arcing break and one-handed offload putting Ken Pisi through, who in turn sent Day under the sticks.

If Burrell’s offload was brilliant, Tebaldi’s was every bit as good as the game continued at an incredible pace. The scrum-half’s cheeky flick out the back door put Ross Chisholm away and the lead changed hands for the fourth time in the opening half hour.

That soon became five, Burrell this time coasting over on the right after midfield partner Harry Mallinder wriggled loose from the home defence and drew the last man, Myler sticking on the extras through a tricky breeze.

Surprisingly, there was to be no further score before the break, but the pointless period would only last for three minutes of the second half, Evans guiding over a scrum penalty to take things back as they started.

The hosts may have resumed a man down, but they had the benefit of a strong wind at their backs and moments before Tebaldi brought them back to a full compliment, Evans punished Jamie Gibson’s deliberate knock on with three more points from the tee.

They could have gone further ahead too, Tebaldi and Harry Sloan both knocking on with the line beckoning, but intense defensive pressure from the Saints saw them hold out.

Tensions were starting to rise though and with the free-scoring nature of the game stemmed, Quins went to their driving lineout in an attempt to take the game away from their visitors. It almost worked, Tom Wood seeing yellow for halting the first drive, but when a second disintegrated, the ball was held up by grey shirts.

Saints won a scrum, then a penalty, and thanks to Lee Dickson’s awareness a quick tap saw them sweep from one 22 to the other, where JJ Hanrahan stuck another penalty into the corner.

Quins’ indiscretions continued to rack up and under the sticks, Hanrahan had the simple task of making it an even ball game for a third and final time.

Botica stepped up to almost immediately put Quins back three points to the good and while Saints went to the corner with a minute to go, the home side clung on inches from their own line.

That should have been that, but following a solid scrum and with his pick of the stands to boot the ball into, Botica remarkably failed to end the game and Saints took advantage to the fullest.

TIMELINE
3mins SAINTS Pen Myler 0-3
7mins QUINS Try Merrick Con Evans 7-3
9mins SAINTS Miss pen Myler
13mins SAINTS Try Day Con Myler 7-10
24mins QUINS Try Chisholm Con Evans 14-10
30mins SAINTS Try Burrell Con Myler 14-17
39mins QUINS Yellow Tebaldi
HALF-TIME QUINS 14 SAINTS 17
43mins QUINS Pen Evans 17-17
48mins QUINS Pen Evans 20-17
66mins SAINTS Yellow Wood
71mins SAINTS Pen Hanrahan 20-20
73mins QUINS Pen Botica 23-20
80+2mins SAINTS Try Foden Con Hanrahan 23-27

QUINS Chisholm; Yarde, Hopper, Sloan, Walker; Evans (capt), Tebaldi; Lambert, Buchanan, Sinckler, Merrick, Horwill, Luamanu, Wallace, Easter

Gray, Evans, Collier, Matthews, Ward, Waters, Botica, Swiel

SAINTS Foden; K Pisi, Burrell, Mallinder, Elliott; Myler, Dickson (capt); A Waller, Haywood, Brookes, Craig, Day, Gibson, Wood, Dickinson

Marshall, E Waller, Denman, Matfield, Harrison, Kessell, Hanrahan, Wilson

REFEREE Greg Garner

Match

Harlequins vs Northampton Saints

Match Details

FT ScoreFull Time Score

Harlequins 23-27 Saints

Attendance

14,800

Referee

Greg Garner

Harlequins
Harlequins
23

Summary

Full Time

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
27

Starting LineupNorthampton Saints

15

Ben Foden

14

Ken Pisi

13

Luther Burrell

11

Jamie Elliott

10

Stephen Myler

9

Lee Dickson

3

Kieran Brookes

4

James Craig

5

Christian Day

6

Jamie Gibson

8

Sam Dickinson

SubsNorthampton Saints

17

Ethan Waller

18

Gareth Denman

19

Victor Matfield

21

Tom Kessell

22

JJ Hanrahan

23

James Wilson

Opposition LineupHarlequins

15
Ross Chisholm
14
Marland Yarde
13
Matt Hopper
12
Harry Sloan
11
Charlie Walker
10
Nick Evans
9
Tito Tebaldi
1
Mark Lambert
2
Rob Buchanan
3
Kyle Sinckler
4
George Merrick
5
James Horwill
6
Matt Luamanu
7
Luke Wallace
8
Nick Easter

SubsHarlequins

16
Joe Gray
17
Owen Evans
18
Will Collier
19
Charlie Matthews
20
Dave Ward
21
Calum Waters
22
Ben Botica
23
Tim Swiel
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
5
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR22120104553926351355760
7
Harlequins
HarlequinsHAR2210111547583-3655666755
Form Guide

Form

LLLLL

Last match

Lost to Sale 23-32

Past meeting

Lost 17-30
Full Time
Harlequins
Harlequins
23
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
27