Aviva Premiership: Harlequins 20 Saracens 19
PUBLISHED: 17:41 03 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:41 03 December 2017
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Tim Visser’s try 90 seconds from time condemned Saracens to a third straight Premiership defeat as Harlequins hit back in a nail-biting thriller at the Stoop.
The hosts were inspired by the superb Danny Care, whose individual brilliance created all three of his side’s tries.
Visser pounced on Care’s brave cross-field kick for the winner after the England man had set up two earlier tries for Charlie Walker. James Lang kicked a penalty and conversion.
Brad Barritt scored Saracens’ try, which Owen Farrell converted before adding four penalties.
Fly-half Marcus Smith was a late injury withdrawal for Quins, with Lang moving up from the bench to take his place.
And the home side suffered another blow within two minutes of the start as Saracens took the lead with an excellent try.
A well-timed pass from Farrell sent Vincent Koch through a huge gap in the home defence before the prop linked with Jamie George, whose pass gave Barritt an easy run-in.
Farrell converted and kicked a penalty as Saracens made the most of their early dominance to lead 10-0. And that took Farrell to 1,000 points in the competition.
However, Quins raised their game to gain their first platform in the opposition 22, from which they proceeded to batter the Saracens line.
Resolute defence from the visitors kept Quins out for eight minutes before the hosts finally found a way through when a superbly-judged cross-field kick from Care saw Walker collect and score.
Injury-ravaged Quins lost prop Will Collier with an arm problem after 32 minutes and he was replaced by Kyle Sinckler, his second game back since serving a seven-week suspension for gouging.
A burst from Jamie Roberts and a neat pass from Lang gave Visser a chance down the left flank, but the wing’s pass went astray so the home side still trailed 10-5 at the interval.
Saracens were penalised at the first scrum after the restart and Lang was successful with his penalty before the visitors lost Maro Itoje with a facial injury, with Schalk Burger his replacement.
Farrell restored his side’s five-point lead with his second penalty before there was another injury departure for Quins when skipper James Horwill limped off.
Both sides continued to probe without adding to the scores before another scrum infringement saw Farrell kick a further penalty.
But Care then dashed away and kicked ahead for Walker to win the race for the touchdown.
Farrell’s fourth penalty five minutes from the end looked to have secured victory for Saracens, but one final piece of brilliance from Care sent the home crowd into raptures.