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Aviva Premiership: Defending champions Harlequins leapfrog Northampton
Defending champions Harlequins secured third place in the Aviva Premiership thanks to a thrilling 22-19 victory at home to Northampton.
Both sides will have to win on their travels in the play-off semi-finals next weekend to advance to the Twickenham showpiece.
Right wing Tom Williams, hooker Rob Buchanan and centre Tom Casson scored tries for Quins, with fly-half Nick Evans landing two conversions and a penalty in a feast of attacking rugby.
Saints replied with tries from left wing Jamie Elliott, hooker Dylan Hartley and lock Christian Day, on his 100th appearance for the club.
Fly-half Stephen Myler converted two of the tries but had earlier missed two penalties and a conversion. They were narrowly denied victory in the end after rallying from 22-5 down.
Evans kicked Harlequins into an 11th-minute lead with a simple 20-metre penalty and they increased it 11 minutes later when a finely judged kick down the right touchline by Danny Care bounced perfectly for Williams to sprint to the line for a try converted by Evans.
Northampton bounced back as Foden's kick behind the Quins defence enabled Elliott to collect and race clear for the line. Myler's conversion from the left touchline drifted wide.
Quins scored their second try less than two minutes into the second half when flanker Luke Wallace flicked up a pass as he was tackled for Buchanan to charge through and ground the ball on the foot of the post.
Referee Wigglesworth referred to the TMO before allowing the try, converted by Evans.
Quins struck again in the 51st minute following a tremendous break through the middle by Care. He was stopped just short but number eight Nick Easter moved the ball on before George Lowe supplied the final pass for his centre partner Casson to touch down.
Northampton launched a fightback which produced 14 points in a seven-minute spell.
A superbly executed rolling maul enabled Hartley to celebrate his British and Irish Lions selection with a try before a great passing move along the line ended with Day crossing for their third try.
Myler converted both to set up a grandstand finish but Quins held on to their slender lead.Rugby Union Live. Click here to bet.
|Friday 14th November|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Harlequins|
|19:45||Northampton vs Exeter|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|17:00||Bath vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 16th November|
|13:00||Leicester vs Saracens|
|15:15||Wasps vs London Welsh|
|Friday 21st November|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Sale|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|15:00||London Irish vs Bath|
|15:00||Exeter vs Wasps|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|13:00||Saracens vs Northampton|
|15:15||London Welsh vs Leicester|
|Friday 28th November|
|19:45||Bath vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 29th November|
|15:00||Leicester vs Wasps|
|16:30||Exeter vs Saracens|
|Sunday 30th November|
|13:00||London Irish vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Northampton|
|15:15||Newcastle vs Sale|
|Saturday 20th December|
|14:00||Sale vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Bath|
|15:00||Northampton vs Leicester|
|15:00||Saracens vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 21st December|
|14:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|Friday 26th December|
|15:00||London Irish vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 12th October|
|Wasps 29 - 22 Bath|
|Saturday 11th October|
|Northampton 43 - 10 Sale Sharks|
|Saracens 28 - 21 Gloucester|
|Exeter 44 - 24 London Irish|
|London Welsh 3 - 23 Newcastle|
|Friday 10th October|
|Leicester 22 - 16 Harlequins|
|Sunday 5th October|
|Newcastle 29 - 24 Exeter|
|Sale 25 - 14 Wasps|
|Saturday 4th October|
|Gloucester 33 - 16 Leicester|
|Harlequins 52 - 0 London Welsh|
|London Irish 12 - 19 Northampton|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Bath 21 - 11 Saracens|
|Sunday 28th September|
|Wasps 35 - 18 Newcastle|
|Exeter 36 - 13 Harlequins|
|Saturday 27th September|
|Northampton 31 - 24 Bath|
|Leicester 19 - 22 London Irish|
|Saracens 40 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 26th September|
|London Welsh 10 - 46 Gloucester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|Newcastle 10 - 35 Northampton|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Bath 45 - 0 Leicester|
|Harlequins 26 - 23 Wasps|
|London Irish 32 - 36 Saracens|
|Sale 46 - 8 London Welsh|
|Friday 19th September|
|Gloucester 22 - 25 Exeter|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com