Saracens 22-12 Harlequins: Sarries see off Quins in battle at Wembley
Saracens extended their lead at the top of the Premiership with victory over London rivals Harlequins
Chris Ashton scored twice and England lock George Kruis added another as Sarries led 19-9 at half-time
Ben Botica and Owen Farrell each landed a penalty in a try-less second period
Two first-half tries from Chris Ashton helped league leaders Saracens to a 22-12 victory over Harlequins in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.
Eddie Jones was not present to see Ashton’s finishing – the England head coach was at Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea face Manchester City – but at this current rate the rugby league convert is a certainty to tour Australia in June after missing the Six Nations.
Grand Slam winner George Kruis also added his name to the scoresheet, while all 12 of Quins’ points came from Botica off the tee.
Saracens move four points clear of second-placed Wasps at the summit of the Premiership table, while Harlequins’ hopes of finishing in the play-offs are remote with two rounds remaining.
One loose pass aside, Billy Vunipola was outstanding and the most imposing back row on the pitch against competition that included Quins’ pretender to his England number eight jersey JackClifford.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Saracens: George Kruis
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 George Kruis,4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola (c)
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Hayden Smith, 20 Samu Vunisa, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Nick Tompkins
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Nick Easter, 7 Jack Clifford, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Sam Twomey, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Will Collier, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 George Merrick, 20 Mat Luamanu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Matt Hopper, 23 Ross Chisholm
Date: Saturday, April 16
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Kick-off: 15:15 local (14:15 GMT)
Referee: Gregory Garner
Assistant Referees: Andrew Jackson, Andy Watson
TMO: Geoffrey Warren