Match Reports

Harlequins secure bonus point win over Northampton Saints

Sunday, 30th August 2020 @ 17:00



Harlequins got back to winning ways with a bonus point victory over Northampton Saints.

Northampton Saints opened the day’s proceedings with a try for inside centre Rory Hutchinson, with the Scottish international running a support line off a clean break from centre partner Matt Proctor. Saints’ fly-half James Grayson slotted the two to give the visitors a 7-0 lead with six minutes played.
 
Harlequins would reply through a Marcus Smith penalty with 16 minutes on the clock, with Northampton penalised by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys for not rolling away after the tackle.
 
Possession would pass between the two sides for the ensuing five minutes, with Harlequins openside Will Evans becoming a regular pest at the breakdown, winning multiple turnovers that would allow Smith to put his pack into prime position with attacking lineouts within Saints’ half.
 
Field position would pay off for Quins, with a quick tap from fullback Mike Brown seeing first number eight Alex Dombrandt crash into Saints’ defence before shifting the ball back to Brown who spread the ball to left wing Nathan Earle. Smith adds the two to give Harlequins the lead for the first time.

Nathan Earle
 
Saints would strike back with ten minutes left in the first-half, however, with former England Sevens Ryan Olowofela receiving a miss pass across the face of the Quins defensive line from fly-half Grayson. The Saints ten added his second conversion of the day to take the visitors 14-10 ahead.
 
Harlequins struck back before the break with Wales international hooker Scott Baldwin crashing over from a driving maul following a five-metre lineout. Smith’s attempted conversion cannoned back off the upright but the fly-half made amends with a penalty to give the home side a 18-14 lead at the interval.
 
Scott Baldwin
 
Harlequins scored the first points after the break, with captain Chris Robshaw crashing over in the left corner after a stunning clean break from Smith through the guts of Saints’ defence, dashing 30 metres and only just dragged down by the Northampton defence before the ball is spread wide to the skipper.

Smith added the two for a 23-14 lead.
 
The lead was extended when Brown steps then powers through the middle of Northampton’s defence, offloading deftly to Dombrandt before the ball is spread wide to Ashton for a first Ash Splash at The Stoop.

Smith’s strike is true once more and Harlequins hit 30 with less than half an hour left to play.

Chris Ashton

Meanwhile, Saints clawed back some ground when Grayson added a penalty to reduce the deficit to 13 points.
 
The visitors continued to press hoping for a converted try which would be earned a losing bonus point. However, the Quins pack scrapped furiously as to leave James Chisholm mobbed by team mates after forcing a penalty and overturning the ball to effectively extinguish Saints hopes.
 
With Bath Rugby up next, backed by supporters for the first time since lockdown, and then an ‘away game’ at The Stoop against London Irish, Quins have the opportunity to make the most of home advantage and push upwards.
 
Next Match: Harlequins vs Bath Rugby - 5pm, Saturday 5th September, The Stoop