Ashton brace helps Sarries down Quins

Owen Farrell jumps for the ball

Chris Ashton scored a brace of tries as Saracens beat Harlequins 22-12 at Wembley Stadium in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.

The match was played in front 80 000 fans at Wembley and the result moves Saracens four points clear of Wasps in second place.

Grand Slam winner George Kruis also added his name to the scoresheet, while all 12 of Quins’ points came from Ben Botica off the tee.

Harlequins took an early lead from the boot of Botica, before a Ashton try pegged them back after 12 minutes when he finished in the corner.

Charlie Hodgson missed the resulting conversion, meaning another kick from Botica gave Quins the lead after a quarter of an hour.

Following a lull in play, England lock Kruis was smart to steal the ball from the hands of compatriot Danny Care, before carrying over the line on the half-hour mark, allowing Hodgson to open his account from the tee.

Botica soon replied with yet another penalty, pegging Saracens’ lead back to just three points.

Saracens ended the half on a high, as Ashton scored his second try of the game after good work from Schalk Brits to draw in the Harlequins defence, with Hodgson this time able to convert it. The league leaders went into the break 19-9 up at Wembley.

Botica retained his form from the tee after the break, as he slotted a penalty to make the difference just seven points.

A dull second half saw the sides remain within touching distance of each other, before an Owen Farrell penalty on 74 minutes ultimately denied Quins any hope of a win.

Botica failed to secure a losing bonus point with the final kick of the game, dragging his 40-metre attempt wide.

Should Harlequins fail to win the Challenge Cup, and a non-English club do, a seventh place finish in the Premiership would see them miss out on European qualification for next season.

Final Score Saracens 22 (19) Harlequins 12 (9)

Scorers

Saracens
Tries – Ashton (2), Kruis
Pen – Farrell
Con – Hodgson (2)
Drop –

Harlequins
Tries –
Pen – Botica (4)
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee :Greg Garner (98th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Andrew Jackson & Andy Watson.
TMO: Geoff Warren.

Teams

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 ©, 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

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