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Match Report: Northampton Saints 36 Harlequins 10

02 Feb 2018
Match Report: Northampton Saints 36 Harlequins 10

Ken Pisi scored two tries as Northampton Saints booked their place in the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-finals with a commanding win against Harlequins.

The Saints, who arrived at Franklin’s Gardens with a three-point gap at the top of Pool 3, burst out of the blocks and had secured a bonus-point by half time.

George North, back in the team after pulling out on the morning of Saturday’s win at Sale Sharks, got the ball rolling and from there the floodgates opened.

Tom Stephenson crossed minutes later before Ahsee Tuala and Pisi scored before the break, with just prop Mark Lambert replying for Quins.

The away side shored things up after the break but the Saints managed to find a way through as Pisi galloped to his second of the night and his sixth in five starts this year.

Quins needed a bonus point to confirm safe passage to the last four but, despite a late charge which saw Joe Marchant cross, they fell short – meaning Exeter Chiefs could usurp them against Saracens on Saturday.

Saints director of rugby Alan Gaffney named a strong Saints side, a clear show of intent in the tournament this year.

And it did not take them long to score as the explosive North crossed in the corner after a lovely pass from hooker Mikey Haywood.

Piers Francis, making his return from the concussion that had kept him out since Saints’ defeat to Quins in December, converted, and he was soon adding the extras to a Stephenson try that was made by an interception and rapid break from flanker Jamie Gibson.

There was soon a third Saints score as full-back Tuala cruised in, with Francis again converting.

The bonus-point try was to come inside the first 30 minutes as Stephenson and David Ribbans did some good work on the wing, setting up Pisi for the score.

Harlequins eventually had something to shout about before the break as Lambert made the most of a rare spell in the ascendancy for the away side.

However, there was no second-half comeback as Pisi grabbed his second before Marchant scored a consolation for Quins.

Attendance: 10,125

This year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Final will be at the iconic Kingsholm Stadium, home of Gloucester Rugby, on Sunday 18 March. To buy tickets and be part of an unforgettable occasion click here