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A struggle for Saints in Stoop defeat

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

On a ground where they had won last season, Greig Tonks grabbed the game's first try but with Quins building a lead by the break, two tries before the hour killed off the contest and the Saints could not salvage a bonus point despite a dominant final quarter.


The Saints couldn't have wished for a worse start and after failing to collect the hanging kick-off, Quins barged their way close to the try line and over under the posts. While the Saints were able to hold the ball up, advantage was being played and Nick Evans had the simple task of converting the three-pointer.


A couple more fundamental errors when kicking to touch wouldn't have pleased Jim Mallinder, though he would have been more satisfied as his side settled into the game with a prolonged spell of possession.


The hosts were next on the board however, moving upfield with a penalty before Evans slotted his second effort of the night - Brian Mujati singled out for not rolling away.


Straight from the restart however the Saint went about building a reply. Samu Manoa plucked the ball from the air and phases later Myler went to touch with a penalty, Quins offside in midfield. Off the lineout, Martin Roberts ducked through a gap just as he did for his score last weekend and with an advantage in hand, Tonks powered over with the free play.


When Quins attacked, the Saints were tackling well but having failed to retreat quickly enough referee JP Doyle pulled them up for offside and Evans made it three from three to recapture a lead he would extend with a fourth penalty some four minutes later.


Before the break there was still time for a bit spot of handbags in the front row and a drop goal attempt from Evans, but when the Kiwi's effort drifted wide it signalled the end of the half.


Quins continued brightly in the second half and when the chance came, Joe Gray made no mistake, grabbing the home side's first try off a Karl Dickson burst. From the restart Saints hit straight back, Myler preserving his 100% start to the season with a penalty but it wasn't long until the hosts were in again, Ugo Monye on the end of a sweeping Quins move.


Frustration was growing for the Saints, particularly when a maul five metres from the Quins line was driven into touch. Replacement Ryan Lamb added a penalty, but despite a spell of dominance in opposition territory, the Saints were struggling to click.


They weren't giving up that easily however and with Quins firmly under the cosh, James Johnston was shown yellow for an infringement at the breakdown. Saints just seemed to be having one of those nights though and another turnover summed it up for them.


The clock was wound down by 14-man Quins and Evans' punt to touch ended a contest that the Saints maybe should have taken more from.


AVIVA MAN OF THE MATCH Ugo Monye


REFEREE JP Doyle


TIMELINE

3mins QUINS Pen Evans 3-0

20mins QUINS Pen Evans 6-0

24mins SAINTS Try Tonks Con Myler 6-7

30mins QUINS Pen Evans 9-7

34mins QUINS Pen Evans 12-7

40mins QUINS Miss DG Evans

HALF-TIME QUINS 12 SAINTS 7

45mins QUINS Try Gray Con Evans 19-7

48mins SAINTS Pen Myler 19-10

53mins QUINS Try Monye Con Evans 26-10

63mins SAINTS Pen Lamb 26-13

74mins QUINS Yellow Johnston

FULL-TIME QUINS 26 SAINTS 13