NEC Harlequins may have taken the points at the Stoop, but neither side did themselves much credit. Kicks to touch rarely found their intended target and passes went to thin air more than to hand. Amid the confusion and the three tries were conjured up from Quins with one in return from Saracens.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring on nine minutes after Ben Cole charged down scrum-half Peter Richards' kick and Tony Diprose dived on the loose ball to touch down. Five minutes later, Quins were level when Pat Sanderson scored the first of two tries on his debut, after another debutant, Nick Greenstock opened up the Saracens defence. The former Wasps star was the only player who could feel justified to say he had a good game.
After being cast out of Wasps, he has regained his fitness and looked to be getting back to his previous form which saw him capped for England.
On 27 minutes, NEC Harlequins took the lead when Zinzan Brooke took the ball from Richards and cruised through the non-existent Sarries defence to touch down under the posts. Then in injury time, the home side extended their lead to 21-7 when a back row move on the visitors' line saw Rory Jenkins dive over the line.
Any hope that second half was going to be any better was quickly dashed as the opening minutes saw the ball turned over on no less than a dozen occasions. With 49 minutes gone, Thierry Lacroix converted a penalty but from the restart, the ball found Jason Keyter skipped through the Saracens line and dived over the line. With five minutes to go, Matt Powell touched down for the visitors after Saracens had shoved Quins over their own live from a scrum five.
However, there was little danger of NEC Harlequins losing the game and once again from the restart they had a try, with Sanderson touching down from a rolling maul. An injury time consolation effort from Adam Jones improved the deficit for Saracens.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.