Quins run in six tries in big victory at Franklin Gardens
Harlequins completed a try bonus point victory by beating Northampton Saints 49-29 in a thoroughly entertaining match at Franklin Gardens in the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday.
Quins ran in six tries, and at one stage held a 20-point lead, but Saints fought back to give Quins a scare before two late tries sealed victory for the Londoners.
Harlequins suffered a blow during the warm up when club captain Stephan Lewies was ruled out through injury, with Alex Dombrandt leading the side.
Quins opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Mike Brown released the impressive Luke Northmore who wriggled free and broke before sending Danny Care over.
Saints were quick to respond when Api Ratuniyara stormed through the middle to offload to Lewis Ludlam to dot down.
The Londoners thought they had retaken the lead when Wilco Louw touched down, only for the TMO to rule out the try for a forward pass. Despite being denied a try, Harlequins got their rewards when lovely interplay from the Londoners saw Nathan Earle cross in the corner. The conversion from Marcus Smith sailed over the sticks to give the visitors a ten-point cushion.
An error from Dombrandt allowed James Grayson to slot over a penalty before Smith nailed three penalties.
On the stroke of half time Saints scored a welcome try following a driving lineout that saw Nick Isiekwe barge over to reduce the deficit to just six points at the interval. 17-23
Within four minutes Harlequins had stretched their advantage when Mike Brown burst through a gap to cross. Brown continued his immaculate kicking by making it six from six to put Quins in firm control.
By the time Dombrandt had touched down following a cross field kick from Smith the visitors had wrapped up the try bonus point win.
Saints, to their credit gave Harlequins a fright when Rory Hutchinson dived over. The hosts picked up the try bonus point following a Quins lineout that was snapped up by Ludlam for his second of the afternoon.
However, Harlequins had the last word when lovely play from James Chisholm and Tom Lawday sent Scott Steele over.
Harlequins had the last word on 80 minutes when great work from Andre Esterhuizen was rewarded when Smith rounded of a fine match by dotting down to seal the visitor’s first victory in this seasons Premiership.