Northampton Saints snatch victory from defeat against Harlequins


Harlequins slipped to their fourth consecutive Premiership loss, despite leading by six points with as many minutes to go, as Saints snatched an improbable victory in the dying seconds thanks to Alex Mitchell’s converted try.

Scrum half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne made his debut for Harlequins, ahead of the injured Danny Care, as Quins looked to get themselves back to winning ways in the Premiership after suffering three straight defeats. The home side were also looking to cement their place in the play-offs, after starting the day in fourth position.

Harlequins secured the first points of the match when Saints strayed offside, with Marcus Smith successful from under the posts. Within five minutes Northampton drew level after winning their first penalty of the game, with Dan Biggar sending the kick over the posts. In the 13th minute, the visitors won a line out with the ball eventually sent out to Ahsee Tuala who dotted down.

Saints lost the services of George Furbank after a collision with Ben Tapuai. After lengthy treatment, the full back was taken of the field on a stretcher after receiving extensive medical help. From the resulting penalty Smith was successful to cut the gap to four points, only for Quins to be whistled for not rolling away, as Biggar added another three points from the tee.

On the stroke of half-time, Harlequins lost Nathan Earle after being taken off on a stretcher. In a half littered by handling errors and stoppages of play due to injuries, it was the visitors who had the edge at the break by leading 13-6.

Harlequins took advantage of a bright start to the second half by drawing level after Jack Clifford spotted a gap in the middle to touch down. Smith added the extras to make it 13-13. Harlequins re took the lead after 60 minutes following a Smith penalty.

In a brutal encounter Quins lost Cadan Murley to injury, with the winger helped of the pitch with his arm in a brace. With six minutes to go, Quins were awarded a penalty on the 22 line which Smith slotted over to extend the gap to six points.

With Quins on course for victory, and a minute remaining Saints came back from the death to snatch victory away from Harlequins when replacement Alex Mitchell went over in the corner after a fine dummy. James Grayson’s conversion was enough for Saints to win a brutal battle by the narrowest of margins.


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