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Northampton Saints 25 - 18 Harlequins: Boyd's Gardens reign off to winning start

Dylan Hartley’s second-half try ultimately proved the difference as Northampton Saints picked up their first win of the Gallagher Premiership season on Friday evening.

Chris Boyd’s men led Harlequins 9-3 at the break as fly-half Dan Biggar slotted three penalties, before extending their lead in the second half through replacement hooker Hartley.

They were made to fight hard for the win though as tries from Danny Care and James Lang brought Quins back within a score, but brilliant defence under their own posts and Jamie Gibson’s last-gasp turnover secured a 25-18 triumph for the hosts.

Saints dominated a frantic opening ten minutes as only two try-saving tackles from Marcus Smith denied the hosts the first score.

First Tom Collins hared through, making a blistering 50-metre break up the left wing, and then Piers Francis after Saints’ backline put the ball through their hands – but both were denied five metres out by the young fly-half Smith.

And it was the Quins No.10 who notched the first points of the evening against the run of play from in front of the posts when Alex Waller went off his feet, but immediately winning a penalty from the kick off, Saints had the opportunity to respond.

After kicking to the corner however, the chance went begging as the ball was lost at the lineout.

Biggar levelled the scores shortly after with a routine penalty, before striking two more straight through the uprights before the break and hitting another against the post – with Quins’ discipline tested under immense Saints pressure.

Ahsee Tuala made a brilliant break just before the interval, bursting through several tackles and charging 50 metres forwards up the pitch, but as the men in Black, Green and Gold looked to work the ball wide it was knocked on and possession went begging.

Saints looked to have scored a try early in the second half as Harry Mallinder – on for the injured Ken Pisi – collected his own kick and offloaded brilliantly out the back to Cobus Reinach who wriggled over, but the TMO adjudged he was held up.

Biggar then extended the lead from the tee as Elia Elia was pinged for not releasing, but on Quins’ first visit to the 22 they built the phases and Danny Care was able to snipe over to score despite good defence from Saints to slow down the visitors’ ball.

Smith's conversion brought his side within two points at 12-10 with 26 minutes remaining, but after nailing the restart and winning a penalty deep in Quins territory, Hartley was the man at the back of the rolling maul to score just five minutes after replacing James Fish.

Biggar and Smith traded penalties once more to keep Saints two scores clear, but Lang made it a nervous finish for the Franklin’s Gardens faithful as he burst through Saints' midfield and accelerated into the corner.

The fly-half sliced his conversion wide however, and an ice-cool Mallinder penalty handed Saints a seven-point lead which they resolutely defended in the face of huge pressure as the clock ticked into the red.

For scorers, team line-ups and our live coverage of how the game unfolded, visit the brand new Matchday Live feed HERE.

Tickets are still available for Northampton Saints v Saracens on Saturday 15th September, kick-off 3pm, are still available from £32 adults and £14 juniors. Please CLICK HERE to book now. 

Match

Northampton Saints vs Harlequins

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

Saints 0-0 Harlequins

FT ScoreFull Time Score

Saints 25-18 Harlequins

Attendance

11,865

Referee

Tom Foley

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
25

Summary

Full Time

Harlequins
Harlequins
18
Northampton Saints
P
P
P
P
T
C
P
P
KOHTFT
Harlequins
P
T
C
P
T

Saints are over the ball and that's it!!

80

Time is up as we set the scrum and Chisholm comes off the base. Quins are inches away again here.

79

Quins are throwing everything at this and have an advantage coming. Eventually we come back for it. Quins opt for the scrum.

79

Lawes gets up for disrupt the lineout and Quins just keep hold of the ball. They're pushing hard again and Saints are defending for their lives...

78

Quins maul for the line and Saints are disparates trying to stop them. The away side earn a penalty though and Smith sends it to touch again.

77

Mallinder takes the restart too and Reinach boxes. The ball goes too high though and Saints are penalised for being offside. Quins go for the corner. 

Mallinder...

... sends the kick through to score his first points of the season.

75

Hartley choose the posts as Biggar gets up. Mallinder lines up.

75

Ribbans is up for this one and Saints maul forwards. Reinach boxes and Biggar is there to take the high ball. Saints earn a penalty. Biggar is down receiving treatment so we pause for a moment.

73

Tuala is there to tackle from the restart again and though Marchant slips from his grasp, Ribbans is there to stop the centre. Mulchrone clears and Quins re-collect. The ball comes wide to Walker but he knocks on into touch. Lineout Saints.

72

Lang...

... sends the conversion wide though.

Try Quins.

Replacement fly-half James Lang - who has just entered play - finds a gap and slips through to score.

71

Saints play on after Quins send the ball their way off the lineout. Biggar clears but Morris is there and Quins push on. 

Waller takes his leave as we set for the lineout, with Van Wyk entering play.

69

Quins look to press on but Brüssow is over the ball and he steals it. Biggar clears to touch and Quins have the lineout but back near halfway. 

68

Saints regain the ball after Quins clear at the lineout. But as the highball comes back to Tuala, he knocks on. Scrum Quins.

67

Saints penalised for taking the player out in the air at the lineout and  Smith clears to touch.

65

Quins box the restart and Tuala is there. Collins takes it on and Saints press forwards. The ball comes back to Mallinder and the fullback clears long. The lineout is back in Quins' 22.

Burrell makes way as we restart and Symons comes off the bench to make his debut in Black, Green and Gold.

Smith...

... sends the kick through.

63

A scrappy restart and Quins end up with the ball. They comes forwards before earning a penalty at the breakdown. Smith points to the posts.

Biggar...

... sends this kick through too and extends Saints' lead. 

61

Saints press hard from the lineout and Mallinder breaks to get Saints in the 22. There's an advantage coming but a second penalty overrides it and Saints have a penalty in front of the posts. Biggar points to the posts.

Gibson replaces debutant Haskell as we set for the lineout.

60

And eventually the penalty comes for the home side as Harrison gets over the ball. Biggar sends it to touch for a lineout just outside Quins' 22. 

60

Quins look to come quickly off the scrum but Saints' defence holds well. 

59

Saints come forwards quickly off the scrum but as the ball reaches Collins out wide it comes forwards. Scrum Quins just inside their own half. 

58

Quins clear after Saints send the restart back their way, but Smith's kick goes dead and we come all the way back for a Saints scrum on halfway.

Painter replaces Franks as we restart.

Biggar...

... sends the conversion over too!

TRYYYYYY DYLS!!!!

Its's a brilliant maul from the home side and it's Hartley who's over!!

55

Ribbans is up for the lineout this time and it's another maul...

54

Eventually we come back for that penalty advantage and Biggar sends it to the corner again.

54

Lawes up for the lineout and Saints maul forwards. There's an advantage coming too should they need it...

53

Tuala's defence at the restart is in force again and the penalty comes at the breakdown this time. Biggar goes for the corner. 

Smith...

... sends the conversion through too.

Try Quins.

The away side's pressure eventually pays off and it's Care who's over with the ball.

51

Quins are pushing hard now and are within inches...

50

Morris nearly breaks through but Saints defend well. Tapuai has a go but the line of black shirts is there in wait. 

49

Quins keep possession despite some disruption from Saints. The away side press and slowly gain some ground but Saints' defence is good.

47

Free kick Saints at the scrum and the ball comes quickly wide to Collins. The wing tries to go but Walker is there to stop him. Saints push on over the halfway line before Biggar sends the high ball up. Morris is there but Burrell chases and tackles well. Mallinder clears as Quins return it. The ball finds touch but Quins take it quickly and play on.

46

Ribbans does well to find Tuala at the restart and Saints start to push themselves out of their 22. Reinach clears and Quins knock on. Scrum Saints. 

And as we reset, Fish makes way for Hartley at hooker. 

Biggar...

... sends the simple kick through to extend Saints' lead. 

44

The ball comes wide to Tuala, who stays strong on the wing. Saints push again and though Morris gets the intercept, we come back to a penalty advantage that was being played. Biggar points to the posts.

43

Harrison scoops up at the base and Saints start to push again. The forwards take over and inch their way forwards.

43

No try says the TMO as he deems the ball to be held up. We come back for the scrum. 

43

Mallinder chips to himself and Reinach is there in support. The scrum-half dinks through but has he got the ball down? We're with the TMO...

41

Saints manage to keep possession at a scrappy scrum and work their way into the 22. Brüssow carries hard before Lawes and Harrison link up in the midfield. Burrell barges through and Collins tries to dance around Quins' defence. The ball comes wide the other way and the barrage continues.

41

The TMO intervenes and we come back for the first knock on. Scrum Saints inside Quins' 22. 

40

Morris gets up for the restart but Tuala is quickly there. Quins press on before Care boxes. Mallinder is there and Saints come forwards. Lawes nearly breaks before Biggar chips through. Quins seem to knock on as they collect but Saints are awarded a scrum just after as they do knock on in the breakdown.

40

WE'RE BACK UNDERWAY!

Biggar gets us back underway here at Franklin's Gardens!

Biggar...

... sends the kick through from the touchline with the final play.

39

Penalty Quins at the breakdown and Smith sends it to touch. Lineout Quins on Saints' 22. 

39

Penalty Saints at the scrum. Bigger points to the posts.

38

Saints continue to push and come wide again before sending the ball over to the other wing. Haskell - who finds himself out wide - can't quite get to the ball though. But Quins knock on and we'll have a Saints' scrum. 

36

Saints look to maul from the lineout but it comes down. The forwards press on though and work inch by inch into the Quins' 22. 

35

Penalty Saints at the scrum this time as the scrum collapses. Biggar sends the kick to touch for a lineout on Quins' 22. 

34

Beautiful stuff from Tuala who slips through the Quins' line to make it from the 22 to inside the Quins' half. Saints look to move quickly but too quickly it would seem as the ball comes forwards. Scrum Quins.

Biggar...

... sends the kick through this time to put Saints ahead!

32

Much more solid scrum and Saints come forwards before earning a penalty at the breakdown. Biggar points to the posts.

30

Free kick Saints at the lineout and Biggar sends it long. It doesn't find touch though and Quins return. The fly half is there to collect and the home side push forwards. They make it over halfway before Quins knock on. Scrum Saints. 

30

Penalty Quins at the scrum. Smith clears to touch for a lineout on Saints' 22.

29

Quins clear from the lineout but good pressure from Biggar sends Smith's kick sideways. Collins is there who finds Mallinder. The fullback pushed forwards but knocks on into touch. Scrum Quins.

25

And Saints have the penalty too as they work hard at the breakdown. Biggar points to the posts. 

22

Penalty Quins at the scrum. Smith clears to touch for a lineout just inside the Quins half. 

Pisi - who took a large knock in the build up - departs as we set the scrum and Mallinder takes his place. 

20

Brilliant hands from Saints as they collect the ball at the lineout. They work their way close and keep coming but knock on on the floor. Scrum Quins in their own 22. 

19

Quins come forwards off the restart but chip the ball dead. Saints have the 22 drop. Biggar chips to himself and Saints come forwards. The high ball goes up with Pisi in chase but Quins get there first. They return and Biggar marks it. He sends the ball into touch for a Quins lineout just inside the away half. 

18

Saints come forwards quickly off the lineout. Burrell breaks through the middle before the ball comes wide. Tuala and Pisi make some ground before the centres take over again. Saints earn a penalty at the breakdown and Biggar points to the posts at this one.

17

Quins disrupt the lineout again but Saints hold possession. A chip through finds Quins hands though and Care boxes. Mallinder is there and the full back finds Reinach. The scrum-half opts to chip through but is pushed into touch. Lineout Quins just inside the Saints' half. 

16

Biggar...

... sends the kick into the posts though and Quins clear to touch. Lineout Saints.

14

Quins clear from the lineout and though Mallinder is there, the away side collect the ball. Care boxes and Mallinder is there. Reinach boxes well and forces Earle to clear himself. The wing's efforts finds touch and Saints have a lineout.

14

Saints do well at the scrum but knock on just after. Quins come forwards and begin their attack on Saints line again but they concede a penalty. Biggar sends to touch for a lineout just outside Quins' 22. 

13

Quins come forwards off the back of the lineout and Chisholm makes some ground before the ball comes wide. Tapuai makes more yards but Saints' defence keeps them out of the 22 for now. Then brilliant work from the forwards hold the ball up and Saints earn the scrum.

Biggar...

... sends the kick through to earn his first league points in a Saints shirt!

12

Collins chips through and Quins come forwards before Smith clears. Tuala is there though, he sends it high. Quins collect before earning a penalty. Smith sends it to touch for a penalty inside Saints' half. 

11

Lawes collects the lineout this time but the ball comes loose in the ruck and Quins collect it. Care clears again and Saints play on once more.

10

Quins maul this one too but get nowhere this time. Care boxes and Pisi is there. Fish carries forwards and is taken by a high tackle. Penalty Saints. Biggar kicks to touch for a lineout inside Saints 22. 

9

Quins get up and steal the lineout though. They maul and earn a penalty there. Smith sends the ball to touch for a lineout.

8

Quins collect the restart but great rush defence lead by Pisi earns Saints the penalty. Biggar opts for the corner. Lineout Saints.

Smith...

... sends the penalty through to get the scoring underway. 

7

Free kick Quins as Saints push early. They take it quickly but Saints' defence holds well. Tapuai nearly breaks but Reinach is there to cover. Quins keep pushing before a penalty comes. Smith points to the posts. 

4

Overthrow from Quins and Reianch cleans up. The ball comes wide to Tuala but the last pass from Lawes is deemed forwards. Scrum Quins.

3

Quins clear well from the lineout and chase up but Saints work back and clear well themselves. Lineout Quins back near halfway. 

2

Quins box from the lineout and Collins is there. Saints push forwards and come wide to Francis who's waiting. He too races forwards but is pushed into touch just five metres out again. 

1

Saints clear the restart well but Quins attack hard and work their way over the halfway line before Care boxes. Tuala is there to take is though and he finds Collins. The wing dances up the left, passing defender after defender before just being pushed into touch. Lineout Quins on their own five metre line.

HERE WE GO!!

Saints first home game of the season is on!

Opposition LineupHarlequins

15
Aaron Morris
14
Charlie Walker
13
Joe Marchant
12
Ben Tapuai
11
Nathan Earle
10
Marcus Smith
9
Danny Care
1
Mark Lambert
2
Elia Elia
3
Will Collier
4
Ben Glynn
5
Matt Symons
6
Archie White
7
Chris Robshaw
8
James Chisholm

SubsHarlequins

16
Max Crumpton
17
Nick Auterac
18
Phil Swainston
19
Stan South
20
Renaldo Bothma
21
Charlie Mulchrone
22
James Lang
23
Paul Lasike
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
5
Harlequins
HarlequinsHAR73041811621919142418
8
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR7304179180-122202115
Form Guide

Form

WWWLW

Last match

Beat Wasps 36-17

Past meeting

Won 25-18
Full Time
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
25
Harlequins
Harlequins
18