Premiership: Saracens score four past Quins

Date published: April 8 2017

Saracens 40-19 Harlequins

Four tries and 20 points from the boot of Owen Farrell were enough for Saracens to dispatch Harlequins at Wembley.

After a fairly quiet open ten minutes, it was Harlequins who opened the scoring with a penalty from the boot of Nick Evans.

However, it would be Saracens who grabbed the first try of the game, Chris Ashton chasing down a kick through from Alex Goode to dive on the ball.

Mark McCall’s men double their score on 25 minutes when Schalk Brits powered over at the back of a driving maul.

Evans kept the scoreboard ticking over for Quins with his second and third penalties to keep them within five.

Farrell added a penalty either side of half time to keep Saracens ahead just before the break. The ever-reliable Evans kicked another three points for Harlequins as they tried to keep pace.

The fly-half’s continued to exchange blows, Farrell this time adding another penalty on the hour mark.

The metronomic Farrell kept the points coming with his fourth penalty, and the game appeared to be slipping away from Quins.

Saracens delivered the killer blow in the final ten minutes with a try from Michael Rhodes to take the result beyond doubt.

Quins did give themselves a glimmer of hope when James Horwill crashed over for their first try, but it was too late to bridge the gap.

There was still time for Saracens to secure the bonus point try, Goode finishing off a simple overlap to ensure that Saracens would be leaving Wembley with the maximum five points.

The scorers:

For Saracens:

Tries: Ashton, Brits, Rhodes, Goode
Cons: Farrell 4
Pens: Farrell 4

For Harlequins:

Try: Horwill
Con: Evans
Pens: Evans 4

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Titi Lamositele, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 Mark Flanagan, 20 Joel Conlon, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Nick Tompkins

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Jack Clifford, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 James Horwill (vc), 4 George Merrick, 3 Will Collier, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Dave Ward, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Alofa Alofa

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Tim Wigglesworth, Roy Maybank
TMO: David Sainsbury

Exeter 38-34 Bristol
Sandy Park

A try in the dying minutes from Thomas Walrom denied Bristol an all-important bonus point win over Exeter Chiefs.

It took the Chiefs just two minutes to open the scoring, a neat break from Ian Whitten was finished off by Olly Woodburn; with Henry Slade adding the extras.

Bristol weren’t rattled however and hit back minutes later with their first try, Will Hurrell intercepting a loose pass to run in from 50 metres. The visitors then took the lead with a penalty from the boot of Gavin Henson.

Exeter’s poor attack continued to cost them, with Bristol full-back Jason Woodward gathering a second intercept to run in under the posts.

The Chiefs attempted to stem the Bristol tide with a Slade penalty, but Mark Tainton’s weren’t to be denied their third try. Gavin Henson stretched over in the corner to score.

After a quiet period from both sides it was Exeter who struck next, Geoff Parling powering over in the corner on the stroke of half time.

And it was Rob Baxter’s men who came out of the blocks flying in the second half, Ian Whitten crossing for his sides third; with Slade’s conversion bringing the teams level.

The home side continued to dominate and secured the bonus point when Tom Waldrom powered over at the back of a driving maul.
Bristol managed to hit back just before the hour mark with another Henson penalty to keep them within a score. And they also secured the bonus point try when Tovey’s lovely crossfield kick was gathered by Mitch Eadie to score and give Bristol a three point lead.

It was heartbreak for Bristol in the final two minutes when Waldrom crashed over from close range for his second.

Despite the defeat, the two losing bonus points keep Bristol in touch with Worcester with three games to go.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Woodburn, Parling Whitten, Waldrom 2
Cons: Slade 4, Slade
Pen: Slade

For Bristol:
Hurrell, Woodward, Henson, Eadie
Cons: Henson 3
Pens: Henson 2

The teams:

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Don Armand (c), 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Stuart Townsend, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Michele Campagnaro

Bristol: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Ryan Edwards, 13 Will Hurrell, 12 Gavin Henson, 11 Jack Tovey 10 Billy Searle, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8. Mitch Eadie, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Sam Jeffries, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 James Phillips, 3 Gaston Cortes, 2 Marc Jones (c), 1 Ryan Bevington
Replacements: 16 Max Crumpton, 17 Jack O’Connell, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Ben Glynn, 20 Nick Fenton-Wells, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 James Newey, 23 Charlie Amesbury

Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal, Jonathan Healy
TMO: Rowan Kitt

Bath 27-21 Leicester

Two quick-fire tries were enough for Bath as they overpowered Leicester Tigers in front of over 60,000 fans at Twickenham.

It didn’t take long for the Tigers to open the scoring, Brendan O’Connor breaking through the line and stepping Matt Banahan to dot down.

Matt O’Connor’s side grabber their second a few minutes later. A lovely kick through from Telusa Veainu bobbled through and the Tongan International gathered his own kick to finish wonderfully in the corner.

But Bath eventually found their way into the game and scored from their first meaningful attack, Jonathan Joseph finishing out wide after a series of quick phases in midfield. Ford really began to assert his presence on the game as the half wore on, adding a penalty to his earlier conversion.

Burns responded with a penalty of his own to give Leicester a five-point lead going into the break. The Leicester fly-half continued where he left off in the second half, his second penalty of the afternoon sailing through the sticks.

The two kickers continued to trade penalties, with Ford adding his second. After a quiet spell for both sides, the injured Burns added his third penalty before being replaced by Owen Williams to take Leicester a score clear.

Despite the deficit Bath refused to lie down. Almost straight from kick off Taulupe Faletau picked the perfect line off Joseph to break through the Leicester line before popping the ball for Watson to score.

A tumultuous few minutes got worse for Leicester when JP Pietersen was shown yellow for a deliberate knock on, meaning the Tigers would see out the game with 14 men.

It didn’t take long for Bath to capitalise, Todd Blackadder’s men taking advantage of the extra space out wide leaving Anthony Watson with an easy run for his second try in five minutes.

Bath were also reduced to fourteen men in the final minutes, Beno Obano dismissed after repeated scrum offences from both sides. 

The win means Bath are level on points with their opponents and edge closer to securing the all-important play-off place with three games to go.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Tries: Joseph, Watson 2
Cons: Ford 3
Pens: Ford 2
Yellow Card: Obano

For Leicester:
Tries: O’Connor, Veainu
Con: Burns
Pens: Burns 3
Yellow Card: Pietersen

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford (cc), 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Francois Louw (cc), 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Elliott Stooke, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 Kane Palma-Newport, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Nathan Catt
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Beno Obano, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 David Denton, 20 Zach Mercer, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Tom Homer

Leicester Tigers: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Mike Williams, 20 Harry Thacker, 21 Ben White, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Jack Roberts

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Simon McConnell, Andrew P Jackson
TMO: Graham Hughes