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Saracens beat defending champions Harlequins 18-16 at the Stoop, the hosts' fly-half Nick Evans having a nightmare afternoon, missing five penalties
A nightmare afternoon for Nick Evans helped Saracens on their way to an 18-16 victory over Harlequins at the Stoop.
It was a first defeat of the season for the defending champions, for whom their normally reliable fly-half Evans missed four penalties.
Scrum-half Danny Care scored the only try of the game but Evans' misses proved critical as Quins missed the chance to return to the top of the Aviva Premiership.
The first half hour was a battle of the boot between Evans and Owen Farrell - controversially picked ahead of in-form Charlie Hodgson at fly-half for Sarries.
Evans landed the first successful kick but then missed another and by 32 minutes Farrell had put his team 9-6 up.
Then - with Quins lock Ollie Kohn in the sin-bin - came a moment of pure magic from Care who dummied the defence, spied a gap and sidestepped over the line.
Evans converted to make it 13-9 at half-time, but two Farrell penalties - either side of another miss from Evans - made it 15-13 to the visitors.
Evans missed another from the tee - his third unsuccessful effort - but Saracens then lost George Kruis to the sin-bin and the Kiwi knocked over the resultant penalty - 16-15.
Evans had the chance to extend the lead on 72 but made a hash of a straightforward three-pointer, and Sarries went straight up the other end and earned a shot at goal themselves - and Farrell, who kicked six out of six for his team, was again equal to the task.Heineken Cup. Click here to bet.
Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com