Having bought tickets to watch Argentina v Australia and rail roading my good friend Andrea in to join me she suggested a visit to the Stoop for the afternoon. With the 2 venues being virtually next door to each other it was rude not to watch some Premiership Rugby as well.
I arrived before Andrea and had gone with a Saracens logo’ed top, it did feel a but odd when I sat at a table occupied by some Saints fans to have them virtually turn their noses up at me! I did point out that some of us are OK really.
Both teams had only 2 wins from the 5 games they’d played, with Quins again putting paid to a winning streak by Saracens for the 2nd season in a row. As far as the games between the 2 Saints had won the last 7. I’d seen Quins beat Saracens and be heavily beaten by Wasps, which team would turn up?
This wasn’t to be an exciting game but it was an immense forwards effort by the home team, with Kyle Sinckler in particular putting in a great shift. We had some young French rugby players sat behind us and they named Adam Jones, Hagrid which was quite amusing, Hagrid played well too. At the age of 23 it must be very instructive for Sinckler to have Jones a Welsh and Lions legend lining up with him as well as training alongside; he seems to get better every time I see him.
George Merrick is another young English player who played well, he’s thriving at Quins, they’re the Premiership club with the highest percentage of ex Academy players in their first team squad, the club regularly produces top drawer English players.
Nick Evans got the scoreboard running with a penalty before Alofa Alofa scored his first try for Quins, 2 penalty kicks by Stephen Myler saw the score stand at Quins 8 Saints 6 at half time. Evans had missed a couple of penalties and looked to be struggling with his leg, he was replaced by the in form Tim Swiel at half time.
A favourite player of mine, Loius Picamoles was playing for Saints, I can honesty say I didn’t notice his presence during the game, a testament to the Quins forwards, similarly George North another top class player was largely anonymous. There were to be no more tries during the game but Quins extended their lead with 4 penalties scored by Swiel, Saints could only muster a single penalty to bring their tally to 9.
The final score was Harlequins 20 Saints 9, a very valuable win for the home team who’d started the day second from bottom, realistically both teams looked to be middle of the league set ups, it’ll be interesting to see bow they fare in Europe this season.
The tickets were £41 plus costs for seats behind the posts, I’d judge that Quins have some of the most expensive tickets in the league, but with a crowd of 14,800 they can afford to charge a high price.