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Harlequins 0 Saracens 39

12 Sep 2014
Harlequins 0 Saracens 39

Saracens continued their recent stranglehold over Harlequins with a clinical display at the Stoop as veteran fly-half Charlie Hodgson pulled the strings in a dominant Aviva Premiership Rugby victory.

Hodgson kicked three penalties and converted his own try as Saracens heading into the half-time break 16-0 to the good.

And they didn’t let up on their hosts after the restart as Chris Ashton and Will Fraser both scored tries, while Harequins were kept scoreless at the other end.

Saracens have now lost just once to Quins in their last 12 encounters, with few victories as one-sided as this one.

After a nervy first ten minutes where both sides took the opportunity to feel each other out, Hodgson had his first kick at the posts after Harlequins were offside in the tackle, and the veteran fly-half made no mistake to put his side ahead.

Saracens then looked certain to score the first try of the game on 20 minutes as Duncan Taylor sped towards the line after being put in by Alex Goode, however Harlequins full-back Mike Brown got back just in the nick of time to get the tackle in.

However from the resulting scrum Kyle Sinckler was penalised and Hodgson added the easy three-pointer to double Saracens’ lead.

And five minutes later Hodgson was converting his own try after charging down Nick Evans’ kick and running unopposed to dot down under the posts.

Hodgson was at the centre of all things good for the visitors and he then put in a big kick upfield that saw Ashton and Ollie Lindsay-Hague get involved in a race to the ball.

And while the Quins man won the sprint he was pinged for holding on and Hodgson added another easy penalty.

On 33 minutes Evans finally had a chance to get Harlequins on the scoreboard but his penalty flew wide of the posts and Sarries led 16-0 at half-time.

Hodgson’s fine game was spoiled moments after the restart as he was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on. However Ben Botica, a half-time replacement for Evans, saw the resulting penalty bounce back off the right post.

And Harlequins couldn’t make their man advantage count as despite territory and possession they actually fell further behind as Goode kicked a 49th minute penalty.

It was a similar story just after the hour mark as Hodgson stretched Saracens’ lead even further despite the home side being on top.

Saracens almost grabbed a second try of the game as Brad Barritt charged down a Botica clearance, but the centre couldn’t quite get over the line. In stopping him Rob Buchanan was yellow carded and Hodgson once again sent a three-pointer through the uprights.

And things kept getting worse for Harlequins as with ten minutes remaining Ashton raced onto a hack forward by Taylor for a try, replacement Owen Farrell adding the extras.

But Saracens weren’t done there, turning the screw with five minutes left as Fraser burrowed over, Farrell again adding the conversion for the final points of the game.

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