Harlequins wrap up bonus point win with last minute winner

Sunday, 5th November 2017 @ 17:15



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A last minute Josh Ibuanokpe try and James Lang conversion handed Harlequins a stunning 29-30 win at Allianz Park over Saracens.

At one point in the match, Harlequins trailed 26-5 before tries from Alofa Alofa, Elia Elia and Ibuanokpe gave Harlequins the bonus point win.

Earlier a much-changed Harlequins arrived at Allianz Park looking to open their 2017/18 Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign with a win.

It got off to the perfect start when Harry Sloan capitalised on Ben Glynn's turnover eight minutes in and broke through to score.

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Saracens hit back almost immediately when Max Malins followed up his earlier penalty with two more and a spell of dominance began for the men in black shirts.

With Saracens enjoying multiple phases in Harlequins' 22, the hosts' dominance paid off when Jack Nay broke through from the midfield, fended two tacklers and got over the line for their first try of the match. 16-5 to Saracens at the break.

The Allianz Park outfit picked up from where they left off in the second 40 minutes when Nathan Earle was found out on the right wing with men over and Harlequins scrambling. The winger got himself over but the conversion was missed.

With less than an hour played the contest looked over when scrum-half Tom Whiteley was played in for a simple score from broken play. Again the conversion was missed but Saracens stood 21 points ahead of Harlequins.

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From there, the comeback began.

Up to the 57th minute, Harlequins had little to shout about only until Alofa Alofa did well to dance through the tackles to get himself over for the try.

From almost nowhere, the match was on again as a contest when Alofa's Samoan International compatriot Elia Elia did well when he received the ball out wide to scramble over after being held up only minutes earlier.

Tim Visser looked to have got a try of his own soon after but he couldn't quite latch on to James Lang's grubber kick despite the intervention of the TMO. 

The losing bonus point did seem on though for Harlequins soon after when Lang slotted a penalty eight minutes from time to send the scoreboard ticking over to 26-20.

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Saracens, however, had other plans and Malins sent over a penalty of his own to reinstate Saracens' nine point buffer.

In a topsy-turvy spell with the boot, Lang got another penalty to set up a grandstand finish.

With the clock red, Harlequins still had possession and got play metres out from Saracens' tryline. Going through the phases, Ibuanokpe eventually got himself under the sticks only for referee Hamish Smales to go upstairs for another look.

After a spell of deliberation, Smales awarded the try, leaving Lang the simple job of slotting the conversion to win the match. With the fly-half sending the kick over, Harlequins took maximum points in excpetional circumstances at Allianz Park.

After the pulsating win away to Saracens, Harlequins return to The Stoop on Sunday 12th November to take on Worcester Warriors (kick-off 15:00). Tickets for adults start from just £16 and £7 for juniors. They are available to purchase online here or by calling the Ticket Office on 020 8410 6010

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Team line Ups

LV= CUP

League Table 2017-18

Team (Pool 1) PLD W D L F A TF TA TB LB PTS
2 2 0 0 59 53 5 8 0 0 8
2 1 0 1 77 65 11 10 2 0 6
2 1 0 1 71 33 10 4 1 1 6
2 0 0 2 16 83 1 11 0 0 0
Team (Pool 2) PLD W D L F A TF TA TB LB PTS
2 2 0 0 83 28 13 4 2 0 10
2 2 0 0 75 66 11 9 2 0 10
2 2 0 0 53 43 6 4 0 0 8
2 1 0 1 30 59 4 8 0 0 4
Team (Pool 3) PLD W D L F A TF TA TB LB PTS
2 1 0 1 69 50 10 8 2 0 6
2 0 0 2 58 69 9 10 1 1 2
2 0 0 2 51 59 4 7 0 2 2
2 0 0 2 18 63 2 9 0 1 1
Team (Pool 4) PLD W D L F A TF TA TB LB PTS
2 2 0 0 110 41 17 6 2 0 10
2 1 0 1 57 57 7 6 1 1 6
2 1 0 1 38 52 4 6 0 0 4
2 0 0 2 29 73 5 9 1 1 2