Harlequins v Saracens, Gallagher Premiership: live score and latest updates from Twickenham Stoop

, Harlequins v Saracens, Gallagher Premiership: live score and latest updates from Twickenham Stoop, The Evepost BBC News

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3:27PM

25 mins: Harlequins 12 Saracens 6

Kenningham attempts a legal turnover on halfway but he unluckily knocks on. First scrum is solid for Saracens, and one phase ends with new-man Edwards being penalised for not rolling away. Lozowski gives Saracens a lineout on the Quins 22. 

There was a gross forward pass missed in that Saracens attack, too. It’s all quite bitty, currently.

Meanwhile, Allan is leaving the field for a HIA – perhaps he never recovered from that Koch hit?

Will Edwards, Quins’ third-choice fly-half, is on for at least 10 minutes, but it could be 53.

3:23PM

22 mins: Harlequins 12 Saracens 6

It’s a dynamic Quins maul but there’s a breakdown between Allan and Walker in midfield.

With the hosts backtracking, Woolstencroft gets over the ball to win a holding-on penalty for Saracens, who clear up to halfway.

3:22PM

Quins’ first try

3:22PM

20 mins: Harlequins 12 Saracens 6 

Esterhuizen is causing havoc, as ever, in midfield.

Quins get motoring forward again, but the attack falls down and Saracens clear with a goal-line drop-out.

But Quins come roaring back. Lynagh beats a defender on a sixpence – Green, too – and in a flash the hosts are back to the visitors’ 22.

Penalty Quins for not rolling away. To the corner they go…

3:19PM

18 mins: Harlequins 12 Saracens 6

It’s all going right for Harlequins. A 50:22 from Lynagh down the sunlit tramline.

3:19PM

CON ALLAN Harlequins 12 Saracens 6

Welcome back to the party, Mr Allan!

After being shaken up from an early, illegal hit from Koch, he is creator-in-chief of Harlequins’ second try and converts from the touchline.

3:17PM

TRY MURLEY Harlequins 10 Saracens 6

It’s a beauty from Quins!

A beautiful, soaring pass from Allan – atoning for earlier mistakes – finds a rampaging Lawday on the wing. He feeds Murley inside and he steps and barges through a flummoxed Goode to score in the corner.

3:15PM

PEN LOZOWSKI Harlequins 5 Saracens 6

Lozowski doesn’t miss those and Saracens take the lead.

3:15PM

13 mins: Harlequins 5 Saracens 3

Harlequins look to counter from deep after a Saracens knock-on in midfield. Green is well shepherded by Tompkins so the hosts eventually put boot to ball.

But Allan is sloppily caught offside – in front of Care’s clearing box-kick – so Lozowski will have a sitter to take the lead from the tee for Saracens.

3:11PM

10 mins: Harlequins 5 Saracens 3

Saracens get their phase play up and running, with Lozowski and Koch carrying their team into the Quins half.

The hosts’ defence is firm, mind you, but Collier is penalised for not rolling away. Lozowski gives his side a lineout just outside Quins’ 22.

3:09PM

PEN LOZOWSKI Harlequins 5 Saracens 3

Harlequins are pinged from not rolling away immediately from the restart and Lozowski makes no mistake from dead in front.

And Allan puts the restart out on the full. That earlier Koch hit on the fly-half might have flustered him somewhat.

3:07PM

MISSED CON Harlequins 5 Saracens 0

Allan slices the conversion wide, but it’s still a fabulous start from the hosts.

3:05PM

TRY TIZARD Harlequins 5 Saracens 0

A monstrous start from Harlequins, as Tizard pummels his way over with a fabulous leg drive!

There was an absolutely mammoth carry from Esterhuizen in the build-up, as the centre blasted through Billy Vunipola.

3:04PM

2 mins: Harlequins 0 Saracens 0

Van Zyl box-kicks clear, giving Quins a lineout on the Saracens 10.

, Harlequins v Saracens, Gallagher Premiership: live score and latest updates from Twickenham Stoop, The Evepost BBC News

Lawday carries hard in midfield but Quins’ momentum is stalled from a thuddering Lozowski hit.

Koch’s subsequent tackle on Allan is without arms and late; Quins kick the penalty into the visitors’ 22.

3:00PM

Kick-off!

Tommy Allan gets us under way.

2:58PM

Out come the teams…

Kick-off is two minutes away!

2:45PM

Our man at the Stoop…

Senior Rugby Writer, Charlie Morgan, is in situ in south-west London and he’s got his binoculars out.

The Quins’ matchday team have just played the Strictly theme tune and are interviewing Ugo Monye pitch-side…

Duncan Taylor is one of Saracens’ travelling reserves, Charlie reports, so he must be back fit again after a period on the sidelines, while Michael Lynagh is present to watch his son, Louis, on the wing for Harlequins.

Might he follow in his father’s footsteps and play for Australia?

2:42PM

Mark McCall speaks to BT pre-match

Quins are going brilliantly aren’t they and they have been carving it up now for eight or nine months.

They thrive on momentum so trying to prevent them from getting that is a big thing. They will get momentum, though, so we need to scrap and fight for everything.

It’s going to be a challenge for us today.

, Harlequins v Saracens, Gallagher Premiership: live score and latest updates from Twickenham Stoop, The Evepost BBC News


Credit:
GETTY IMAGES

2:35PM

Today’s victor

It takes a brave man to bet against this Harlequins side – it is something that has made me look very foolish in the past – but without their supreme spine – Marler, Dombrandt and Smith – today looks as if it might be a tall order for them.

Yes, they have home advantage and the Stoop has become somewhat of a citadel for them, but the truth is that Saracens have greater squad depth. Both sides are missing four players to England, but Saracens’ squad, on paper, looks the more formidable of the two.

Thankfully, however, rugby is a game played on grass – not paper – which means that Quins, at a sold-out Stoop, will always be a force. I just feel that Saracens and their Stormtroopers might have too much for them today.

2:25PM

Pre-match facts from Opta

  • Saracens have won four of their last five games against Harlequins in the Premiership (L1); overall, only against Leicester Tigers (L34) have Quins lost more league games than against Sarries (L29).
  • Harlequins have been in a losing position at half-time in each of their last three Premiership league games, but they have ended up winning two of those matches, both at home; Harlequins have won three of their last four games in which they were trailing at half-time, as many wins as they managed in their previous 18 such games.
  • Harlequins (3.0) and Saracens (2.9) rank first and second respectively for points per 22 entry in the Premiership this season; Saracens have also conceded the fewest 22 entries per match of any team (6.0).
  • Harlequins have averaged the most tries (5.0) and clean breaks (11.6) per game in the Premiership in 2021/22; 60 per cent of Quins’ tries have been scored in the second half of games (15/25).
  • Saracens have won just 85 per cent of their lineouts in the Premiership in 2021/22, the lowest rate of any side; however, only Worcester (0.2) have stolen fewer lineouts per game than Harlequins this season (0.4).
  • Saracens have won 3.2 scrum penalties per game this season, the highest average of any team in the Premiership; 2.4 of those penalties have come from scrums on their own feed, also the most by any team in the league this season.
  • Saracens have averaged the most points per game of any team in both the 20 minutes before half-time (11.6) and the 20 minutes before full-time (10.8) in the Premiership this season.
  • Harlequins’ Tyrone Green has carried the ball for 531 metres and has beaten 21 defenders in the Premiership this season, the most of any player in both categories; Green has carried for 216 metres from kick returns, no other player has tallied 200+ metres from such carries.

, Harlequins v Saracens, Gallagher Premiership: live score and latest updates from Twickenham Stoop, The Evepost BBC News

Harlequins’ Tyrone Green in action

Credit:
PA

2:07PM

Today’s line-ups

Harlequins’ scrum-half Danny Care has been named captain among five changes to the starting XV that claimed victory over Bath last weekend. The hosts are missing Joe Marler, Alex Dombrandt, Marcus Smith and Joe Marchant to England.

Harlequins: T Green; L Lynagh, L Northmore, A Esterhuizen, C Murley; T Allan, D Care (c); S Garcia Botta, J Walker, W Collier, H Tizard, D Lamb, J Chisholm, J Kenningham, T Lawday.

Replacements: S Riley, S Kerrod, W Louw, S Lewies, L Wallace, S Steele, W Edwards, H Jones.

Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made six changes to the starting line-up as Saracens look for their fourth consecutive win in the Gallagher Premiership. Jamie George, Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell and Max Malins are away with England.

Saracens: A Goode (co-capt); A Lewington, D Morris, N Tompkins, S Maitland; A Lozowski, I van Zyl; M Vunipola, T Woolstencroft, V Koch, N Isiekwe, T Swinson, A Christie, J Wray (co-capt), B Vunipola.

Replacements: E Lewis, E Mawi, M Riccioni, T McFarland, B Earl, A Davies, R Segun, E Obatoyinbo.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys.

2:00PM

Good afternoon

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live coverage of the Gallagher Premiership, where reigning champions Harlequins host Saracens in a London derby at the Twickenham Stoop.

What a Halloween treat-not-trick in store today, folks, as two of the best teams in the land face off in south-west London. It is a shame, mind you, that we will not be treated to them fully-stocked with all their England stars, but there is still easily enough class across the 46 players picked for today to tantalise the tastebuds.

Speaking ahead of the match, Harlequins’ attack and backs coach Nick Evans said: “We’ve got a fascinating contest this weekend against a good side we haven’t seen for a year and a big rivalry for us which is great as well. I’m sure it will be a cracker.

“We had that chat this week about where we are and where we can go. We are really pleased with the way we are creating opportunities, but as a group we can be more composed and sharpen our conversion rate to those opportunities we are creating. Against a team like Saracens, we are probably only going to get two or three opportunities and we have to nail them.

“We’ve worked really hard in the early part of this week to talk about it and find ways to create opportunities for us to suit the way we play. It will be fascinating to see how that works.

“One of our visions is to inspire and entertain. That’s important for us as a group, club and organisation.”

Nick Isiekwe, meanwhile, says Saracens will need to be switched on from start to finish to beat Harlequins today: “Quins are a great attacking team and we know we have to be switched on. They have an all-court game and can play from anywhere but it just goes back to us being focused and imposing ourselves on the game.”