Friday, 19th November 2021 @ 19:45
Harlequins recorded yet another comeback win - this time scoring twice late on to seal a 26-25 win over Northampton Saints.
The men in the Famous Quarters won an early penalty as Saints were penalised for not rolling away at the breakdown after a monstrous hit from Lennox Anyanwu in centre field.
Academy fly-half Jamie Benson kicked Quins into the corner to begin a strong passage of play for the home side. Quins’ driving maul was collapsed but quick ball from Scott Steele allowed Anyanwu to power his way over the line to score the opening try of the game. Benson converted to put the Harlequins seven points ahead.
The South West Londoners were piling on the pressure. Captain Archie White flew out of the defensive line to force Saints back into their own half.
With just eleven minutes on the clock, Harlequins had their second try of the game through Scottish scrum-half Scott Steele. A loose ball found the hands of Aaron Morris whose smart offload found Huw Jones. The centre burst through two tackles and passed the ball inside to Steele who dived over the whitewash. Once again, Benson added the extras.
Just moments later Quins were suddenly on the back foot and Northampton had their first score of the game courtesy of fullback George Hendy. The visitors stole the ball at the breakdown on the Harlequins 5m line and flung the ball wide to Hendy who flew over in the corner. Fly-half James Grayson reduced the gap back to seven points following his successful conversion attempt.
Harlequins were inches away from a third try. Young number ten Jamie Benson produced a bit of brilliance to swerve his way through six Saints defenders. The ball then found itself in the hands of debutant Villiami Taulani who was brought down inches away from the line.
With ten minutes to go until the break, Northampton Saints scored their second try of the evening through Mike Haywood, following a strong driving maul. Grayson levelled the tie after slotting his conversion attempt.
Minutes later the visitors were in front. Winger Josh Gillespie found space on the outside and slid over the try line to put the Saints in front.
The second half began fairly evenly with both sides having periods of pressure in their opposition’s half. The visitors won a penalty ten minutes into the second 40 and James Grayson decided to have a shot at goal to extend Saints’ lead in the cup tie.
Northampton found themselves down to 14 men after JJ Tonks was sent to the bin seconds after entering the game.
Five minutes later the visitors were down to thirteen, winger Tom Collins joined Tonks in the bin for a deliberate knock on.
Despite two less men on the pitch, Saints extended their lead again through the boot of the successful James Grayson.
It was game on at The Stoop with ten minutes to go following a third Quins try through Anyanwu once again. Smart play from the Harlequins backs meant the ball found itself in the hands of the centre who found space on the wing to dive over the line to reduce the lead to six points.
Despite being under the pump for the majority of the second half, Quins were in front with just five minutes to go. Luke Wallace powered over the line to secure the bonus point. Jamie Benson slotted a tough conversion to put Quins in front by just one point.
Huw Jones pelted the ball out of play to secure the bonus point win for Quins as the side in the Famous Quarters returned to winning ways.
Next Match. Harlequins vs London Irish. September 27. 15:00. Twickenham Stoop.