Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Saracens 22 Harlequins 12


Chris Ashton crossed for a first-half double as Saracens beat Harlequins at Wembley but it was full-back Alex Goode that drew the most praise from director of rugby Mark McCall.

In front of 80,650 spectators in the show piece London derby, Goode scooped the man of the match award with a virtuoso display at full-back.

Victory for Saracens cements their spot at the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, but leaves Harlequins trailing in their quest for a top-four finish.

The Wembley clash between London’s two city clubs has become an annual fixture in recent seasons, with last year’s match drawing a crowd of 84,068; a world record for club rugby.

Sarries are now all but assured a home semi-final and McCall was delighted with his full-back’s form.

“Over the last couple of seasons he (Goode) has played as well as anybody in England in that position. He’s been phenomenal for us all season," he said.

“The clubs deserve a lot of credit, a lot of people work hard to make this happen. We’d like to have given them something better in the second half. 

“But we’ve won four games in a row the games, two of those against Exeter and Bath were outstanding performances, last week and this week have been a little bit below the standards that we would expect.

"Our penalty count was that of a losing team and a third of them came at scrum time, so that is something we'll have to fix for next week.

"We scrummed magnificently against Northampton last weekend and we were the opposite of that in this game.”

Three penalties from Ben Botica kept Quins in the contest in the first half but Sarries had three tries by the break.

A smart off-load from Goode, at the end of a fluent passing move, released Ashton to score the first. Their second came when lock George Kruis pinched the ball off the Harlequins skipper Danny Care a few metres from the line and bundled over.

And they put some clear daylight on the scoreboard just a few minutes before the break, a sensational run and one handed off-load from forward Schalk Brits set up Ashton for his second score of the game, completed with a trademark swan dive under the posts.

After the break Botica and replacement Owen Farrell traded penalties but it was not enough for Quins. 

“In the league we have to look to try and win our final two games and get in the top six,” said Conor O’Shea.

“Your goals do change, that’s sport. They’ll be disappointed but we’ll move on.

“It’s an unforgiving league at the best of times; we had a tough Six Nations window and we haven’t been able to get it back in time.

“That was two good sides out there. It was tough, it was physical. The momentum moments in that match went their way today.

“That’s the margins at the top level. The fellas are bitterly disappointed because our aim was top four, but now our goals will have to change very quickly. We’ll have to nail our two league games but we also want to get to a final in Lyon and that means beating Grenoble.” 
Saracens: Goode; Ashton, Bosch, Taylor, Wyles (Tompkins 77); Hodgson (Farrell 55), De Kock (Wrigglesworth 53); M Vunipola (Saunders 49), Brits (Barrington 49), Du Plessis (Lamositele 49), Hamilton (Smith 56), Kruis, Rhodes, Wray, B Vunipola (Vunisa 75)
Not used: Smith,
Harlequins: Brown; Yarde, Marchant, Roberts, Visser (Chisholm 17); Botica, Care (Dickson 72); Lambert (Evans 69), Gray (Ward 62), Collier (Sinckler 62), Twomey, Matthews, Robshaw, Clifford (Luamanu 60), Easter
Not used: Merrick, Hopper
Tries: Ashton 2, Kruis
Conversions: Hodgson 2
Penalties: Farrell
Penalties: Botica 4
Referee: Greg Garner
Attendance: 80,650

Latest News

Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…


Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball