Saracens off to winning start

Date published: November 2 2014

Saracens held on for a 25-20 win over Harlequins at Allianz Park on Sunday, to get their LV= Cup campaign off to a perfect start.

Saracens held on for a 25-20 win over Harlequins at Allianz Park on Sunday, to get their LV= Cup campaign off to a perfect start.

Two tries in three minutes set Saracens on the road to victory when centre Duncan Taylor and winger Mike Ellery both found their way over the line.

Taylor had the whereabouts to pounce on a loose clearance to run it back for the score, while Ellery, a former England Sevens player, capitalised on a break from full-back Ben Ransom to beat George Lowe’s tackle for the try.

Scrum-half Ben Spencer was handed the kicking duties in the absence of Owen Farrell and Charlie Hodgson and his penalty opened the scoring for the home side.

Young fly-half Louis Grimoldby put Harlequins ahead in the 33rd minute with a penalty of his own, but the visitors were way off the pace with Saracens leading 15-3 by half-time.

A subdued start to the second half ended when Mark Lambert went over from close range for Harlequins to narrow the scores, but it was short-lived.

Jack Wilson, a replacement for Ellery, carried on where his predecessor had left off by racking up Saracens’ third try for a 22-10 lead.

The winger was on hand to finish off some fine passing between the backs for try number three.

Quins refused to give up the fight however and hit back through Charlie Walker’s try, after good work from their rolling maul, with debutant Tim Swiel’s second conversion keeping the contest alive.

Ollie Lindsay-Hague’s yellow card left Harlequins in an uphill battle for the victory, with a scrum penalty helping Spencer to three more points with time running out.

Swiel kept the pressure on with a penalty but Saracens held firm for the win.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Taylor, Ellery, Wilson
Cons: Spencer 2
Pens: Spencer 2

For Quins:
Tries: Lambert, Walker
Cons: Swiel 2
Pens: Grimoldby, Swiel
Yellow Card: Lindsay-Hague

Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Nick Tomkins, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 Catalin Fercu, 10 Nils Mordt, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Maro Itoje (c), 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Scott Spurling, 1 Rhys Gill
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 Nick De Jager, 20 Matt Hankin, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Marcelo Bosch, 23 Jack Wilson.

Quins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 10 Louis Grimoldby, 9 Karl Dickson (c), 8 James Chisholm, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Joe Trayfoot, 5 Sam Twomey, 4 George Merrick, 3 Will Collier, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Mark Lambert
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Henry Cheeseman, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Aseli Tikoirotuma

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank, Ashley Rowden
TMO: Sean Davey