Match Reports

Match report: Harlequins 17-24 Saracens Storm

Monday, 8th April 2019 @ 22:00

Harlequins were on the end of a dominant second half performance from Saracens Storm which saw them lose 17-24 in the Premiership Rugby Shield at The Stoop.

Quins led 14-7 at the break thanks to two quick scores from Henry Cheeseman and Charlie Walker despite Joel Kpoku's earlier try.

In the second 40, tries from Dom Day and Andy Christie and the boot of Manu Vunipola - cousin of Mako and Billy - saw Saracens secure victory.

Saracens looked sharp in the early exchanges with winger Rotimi Segun and Joel Kpoku both looking to get forward early on and it took until the 16th minute for the latter to score the opening try.

Second rower Kpoku hit the line at pace to race through a gap in the defence and Vunipola sent over his first kick of the match.

Looking to respond positively, and a string of penalties allowed guest player Sam Stanley to boot into touch and make good ground. A close range scrum followed the line out and from there Luke Baldwin went left to Henry Cheeseman who used his strength to wrestle over the line. Ross Chisholm - assuming kicking duties - levelled the contest.

A quick penalty minutes later allowed Baldwin and Charlie Walker to race forward, creating the perfect platform for Quins’ second.

James Lang grubbered forward down the right leaving Segun to deal with the awkward bouncing ball. The winger didn’t manage to get a clean take, allowing Walker to pounce and move Quins into the lead.

Looking to end the half level Saracens went through the phases in Quins’ 22 but the hosts did enough to see out the half in front.

Saracens started the second half the brighter of the two and it took them just five minutes to level. Segun and Vunipola both broke well in attack before Dom Day crossed the line in a bundle of players from close range. 

A Chisholm penalty momentarily had Quins back in front 17-14, but Saracens continued to ramp up the pressure; playing a lot of the second half inside Quins' half.

Saracens' lead was re-established just after the hour mark when - at a scrum five metres out - blindside flanker Andy Christie picked and went over. The four-point lead became seven shortly after when Vunipola sent over a drop-goal after the away side dominated possession since the restart from their own try.

Both sides exchanged possession in the final moments, but Quins' final real chance was thwarted when after phases of possession in Saracens' 22, the away side managed to turn over and clear.

Following the defeat, Harlequins will play their final Premiership Rugby Shield match away to Gloucester United on Monday 22nd April.