Search

Saracens 39 Harlequins 17: World record crowd sees Saracens blast Quins to go top

17:28 22 March 2014

Chris Ashton of Saracens dives over for the first try. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Chris Ashton of Saracens dives over for the first try. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

2014 Getty Images

It was a day for smashing records in the capital today in all codes of football as Wembley Stadium broke the barrier for the world’s biggest club rugby crowd with 83,889 fans watching Saracens thrash London rivals Harlequins 39-17 in the Premiership.

The scoreboard annouces that the match is a world record attendance for a club rugby match. Photo by David Rogers/Getty ImagesThe scoreboard annouces that the match is a world record attendance for a club rugby match. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

While in west London the soccer fraternity witnessed Chelsea ruin Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s landmark 1,000th game in charge with a record 6-0 scoreline, the hallowed Wembley turf, most fondly associated with soccer, witnessed a feast of scores with the oval-ball.

Wembley has seen many marvellous feats of Association Football but wing Chris Ashton set Sarries on their way with 70-metre rugby try stunner worthy of some of the venue’s classic moments.

This fixture and this venue saw the world record rugby attendance smashed in 2012, when Quins came out on top, but that was never on the cards today as Sarries duo George Kruis and Owen Farrell added to the first half score.

Harlequins, who were the architects of their own downfall with hospital passes for two of those tries, notched through Karl Dickson.

George Kruis of Saracens dives over for a try. Photo by David Rogers/Getty ImagesGeorge Kruis of Saracens dives over for a try. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Sam Smith narrowed the deficit four minutes into the second period but Jacques Burger secured the bonus point which was quickly followed by news that Saracens were the new Premiership leaders following Northampton Saints defeat at Sale Sharks.

Marcelo Bosh put the icing on the cake in the final minute with a fifth try, dancing through the Quins defence to touchdown between the sticks. Charlie Hodgson added the extras with the final kick after coming on for Farrell, whose 17-point haul saw him deservedly named man-of-the-match.

At the finish it was all smiles for the north half of London’s Premiership elite, though a dampener was put on the early proceedings when top scorer David Strettle was stretchered off in a neck brace after Maurie Fa’asavalu pole-axed the former Quin with a forearm smash that could easily have seen the back row dismissed.

The replays of the incident did not look pretty but director of rugby Mark McCall would not be drawn on the incident afterwards, saying: “I didn’t see the angle everyone is talking about, so I can’t comment on it.

Karl Dickson of Harlequins goes over to score. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty ImagesKarl Dickson of Harlequins goes over to score. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

“It would be foolish for me to say anything. David is OK. He’s pretty shaken up but he’s OK.”

A recovered Strettle took a seat on the bench in the second half, having missed his wing partner’s intercept score as part of 27 first period points. With the scoreboard still unblemished Quins had engineered an overlap and should have crossed the whitewash themselves but Nick Easter tried an audacious pass that spooned in the air and was gobbled up by Ashton who was never going to be caught once he’d eluded Ugo Monye on his own 22 line. The long range score was completed with his trademark swan dive celebration and soon after his side were flying again when Kruis skipped through a gaping hole in the Quins rearguard to dot down between the posts.

The Twickenham side rallied with a sniping Dickson score that his rested scrum-half colleague Danny Care would have been proud of - but they then threw away more points.

A third successful penalty from Farrell preceded the England goal-kicker taking full advantage of a horror pass inside Quins’ own 22 from opposite number Nick Evans. The Sarries fly-half scored, just as he had last weekend for the Red Rose in Italy, and he converted his own score for a 27-10 cushion at the interval.

Owen Farrell of Saracens celebrates after scoring a try. Photo by David Rogers/Getty ImagesOwen Farrell of Saracens celebrates after scoring a try. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Smith reduced the arrears early on, running through Richard Wigglesworth by the corner flag after Saracens appeared to have seen off danger by halting a maul on their try-line. Evans added the extras after Saracens had been reduced to 14 men moments before the score when captain Steve Borthwick was yellow carded.

But Quins could not put the squeeze on their rivals who shut up shop and, once restored to a full deck, claimed a bonus point try through some quick lineout thinking.

Hooker Schalk Brits played a short one-two with first man Kruis and skipped down the wing before offloading for Burger to ram his way over. Farrell missed for the first time in the match with a wayward conversion but Bosch claimed a fifth score with his side already home, hosed and buoyed by a tannoy announcement which informed Wembley that they were also the new Premiership leaders - by three points.

It was a big day for Saracens and a big day for rugby.

Sam Smith of Harlequins dives over for a try. Photo by David Rogers/Getty ImagesSam Smith of Harlequins dives over for a try. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Saracens: Goode, Ashton, Bosch, Barritt, Strettle, Farrell, Wigglesworth, Vunipola, Brits, Johnston, Borthwick (c), Kruis, Wray, Burger, Joubert

Replacements (all used): George, Barrington, Stevens, Botha, Brown, De Kock, Hodgson, Taylor

Saracens' Jacques Burger celebrates scoring a try. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA WireSaracens' Jacques Burger celebrates scoring a try. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Harlequins: Lindsay-Hague, Smith, Hopper, Casson, Monye, Evans, Dickson (Stuart), Marler (Lambert), Gray (Ward), Sinckler (Doran-Jones), Kennedy, Robson, Fa’asavalu, Wallace, Easter (c)

Replacements not used: Trayfoot, Guest, Grimoldby

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

Saracens' Marcelo Bosch on his way to scoring a try. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA WireSaracens' Marcelo Bosch on his way to scoring a try. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Attendance: 83,889 (WORLD RECORD)

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Ex-Tottenham coach Les Ferdinand is tipping Marcus Edwards to be “the next big thing” at White Hart Lane, and possibly at international level too.

10:30

Stevie Eskinazi admits it may be hard to top the satisfaction of helping Middlesex to County Championship glory in the rest of his career.

Harry Winks believes Mauricio Pochettino’s philosophy is ideally suited to his talents – and he is itching to get more opportunities to play alongside Tottenham’s internationals.

Hampstead are setting the early pace at the top of London Division Two North-West – and head coach Peter Breen believes his side will hit another gear if they can maintain their momentum for the next fortnight.

Yesterday, 17:10

Teenage speedster Brandon Abraham narrowly missed out on his third Rookie Trophy in the final race of the British Super One Series.

Yesterday, 17:05

While most cricket fans inside Lord’s and beyond were entranced by the exciting spectacle that unfolded on Friday, there were also some voicing outrage.

Yesterday, 16:30

Wingate & Finchley came from behind to beat Kingstonian 2-1 at home on Tuesday, securing their third league win from four games and establishing themselves in the top half of the Ryman League Premier Division table.

Yesterday, 15:33

UCS Old Boys suffered a late defeat to Saracens Amateurs, who scored a decisive penalty with the final kick to run out 17-14 winners in Saturday’s Herts/Middlesex Division One clash.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now