|Harlequins (19) 41|
|Tries: Care, Murley 2, Ibitoye, Lasike, Landajo Cons: Smith 4 Pen: Smith|
|Saracens (7) 14|
|Tries: Lozowski, Morris Cons: Vunipola 2|
Harlequins thrashed Saracens in their London rivals first Premiership match since their automatic relegation for salary cap breaches was confirmed.
Danny Care’s early score and two Cadan Murley tries, before Sarries’ Alex Lozowski crossed, put Quins in command.
Gabriel Ibitoye and Paul Lasike then touched down shortly after the break to put the result beyond doubt.
Dom Morris’ try cut the arrears once again but Martin Landajo went over late on to seal an emphatic Quins victory.
Care’s try, which came after just 78 seconds, was evidence of the hosts’ intensity, something lacking from a Sarries team essentially playing the first of 14 meaningless games.
Mark McCall’s side battled gamely, but rarely made the match a contest against a Harlequins team set on deepening their rivals’ misery.
Following what the Saracens director of rugby had described as their “most difficult week of the season” in the build-up, he was dealt a further blow by the late withdrawal through injury of experienced captain Brad Barritt.
And, without a large contingent of players away on Six Nations duty, Sarries could not produce the same against-the-odds performance that secured a place in the knockout stage of the Champions Cup just 24 hours after their relegation had been confirmed.
Harlequins, who themselves suffered a late injury withdrawal, that of Ross Chisholm, which took their number of absentees to 19, seemed keen to make the most of the Premiership and European champions’ turmoil by starting the match at a frightening pace.
Care crossed with the game’s first attack after a superb break from halfway and one-two with number eight Alex Dombrandt who, along with fly-half Marcus Smith, was outstanding throughout.
Another early try followed when Dombrandt’s turnover launched a counter-attack and sent Murley over in the corner.
The wing would soon cross again thanks to brilliant creativity from Smith, whose dummy left the Sarries defence totally flat-footed.
Lozowski went under the posts to make the first half appear closer than it was, as wet, muddy conditions took hold at The Stoop, but Ibitoye and Lasike touched down shortly after the break to put the result beyond doubt and secure a bonus point.
Sarries continued to fight hard, and were rewarded with Morris’ try, but just as they appeared to be finishing on some sort of positive, an error in defence gave Landajo the easiest of scores to cap a superb afternoon for Quins and a miserable week for Saracens.
Harlequins: Morris; Murley, Penny, Lasike, Ibitoye; Smith, Care; Garcia Botta, Elia, Collier, Lewies, Symons, J Chisholm, Robshaw (capt), Dombrandt.
Replacements: Musk, Auterac, Kerrod, Cavubati, Kunatani, Landajo, Herron, Goneva.
Saracens: Gallagher; Lewington, Lozowski, Morris, Segun; Manu Vunipola, Wigglesworth (co-capt); Barrington, Singleton, Koch, Hunter-Hill, Kpoku, Isiekwe, Clark, Wray (co-capt).
Replacements: Woolstencroft, Lamositele ,Ibuanokpe, Christie, Reffell, Spencer, Watson, Obatoyinbo.
Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU).
Article courtesy of BBC Sport