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Northampton


  • Penalty goals: Myler (2), Lamb,
9 - 18

Harlequins


  • Penalty goals: Evans (6),
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 22nd Dec 2012
  • KO 15:15
  • Ground: Franklin's Gardens
  • Att: 13,475

Aviva Premiership: Quins carve out win to stay top

Last updated: 23rd December 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

lee dickson northampton v harlequins
nick evans harlequins v northampton

Nick Evans: His six penalties decided the match

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Harlequins will retain their position at the top of the Aviva Premiership table at Christmas after an 18-9 victory over Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.

Nick Evans kicked all Quins' points from the tee while Stephen Myler and Ryan Lamb responded for Saints, who were behind from the fourth minute.

Conor O'Shea's side have a point in hand over Saracens following Sarries' victory at Bath earlier on Saturday, while Saints slip down to fifth.

Harlequins' front row asserted their extra muscle early on, driving Northampton back 10 metres at the first scrum to earn a penalty, which Evans slotted to give the champions an early lead.

The stand-off missed soon afterwards though and Myler made him pay by levelling the scores on a pitch that held up surprisingly well given the recent torrential rain.

Ben Foden thought he had scored the opening try of the game but the touch judge ruled George Pisi's slap pass to the full-back was forward - although TV replays suggested otherwise.

To compound Saints' misery Myler missed a straightforward penalty soon after and Evans added three points from a similar position to make it 6-3 after 29 minutes.

And three minutes later Saints turned down a shot at the posts from 40m and kicked to the corner, only to see the attack come to nothing.

Tremendous

With incessant rain making handling problematic, a tremendous catch under pressure from Mike Brown allowed Nick Easter to sprint from one 22 to another, only for wing Jamie Elliott to gather his chip over the last tackler and a penalty ended the promising Quins break.

Evans missed another shot at goal and with 25 minutes to go prop James Johnston was sin-binned trying to kill a Saints break by lying on the ball on halfway.

Joe Marler was lucky not to get another yellow when he killed the ball in his 22, and Saints this time decided to kick for the posts with Myler making it 6-6.

Despite having the extra man the home side made little impression and two Foden errors cost them dear.

First, the England back dallied fielding a kick and was penalised for holding on to allow Evans to put Quins back into the lead.

The 27-year-old then spilled an up-and-under and a fifth penalty from Evans with seven minutes to go saw the home fans start to spill out of the ground.

Lamb came on to add a penalty as Saints decided against going for a try five metres from the line, but Evans denied them even a point with another successful kick right on time.

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Forthcoming Harlequins Fixtures
TimeFixture
Harlequins
Saturday 27th December
Aviva Premiership
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 4th January
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Saturday 10th January
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Saturday 17th January
European Rugby Champions Cup
TBCHarlequins vs Wasps
Saturday 24th January
TBCCastres vs Harlequins
Saturday 31st January
LV= Cup
14:40Harlequins vs Bath
Saturday 7th February
15:00Gloucester vs Harlequins
Sunday 15th February
Aviva Premiership
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
Saturday 21st February
15:00Harlequins vs Exeter
Saturday 28th February
15:00Northampton vs Harlequins
Saturday 7th March
15:00Harlequins vs London Irish
Saturday 28th March
15:00Saracens vs Harlequins
Today's Results
Result
Harlequins
Saturday 20th December
Aviva Premiership
Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 13th December
European Rugby Champions Cup
Leinster 14 - 13 Harlequins
Sunday 7th December
Harlequins 24 - 18 Leinster
Friday 28th November
Aviva Premiership
Bath 25 - 6 Harlequins
Friday 21st November
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale Sharks
Friday 14th November
Gloucester 15 - 22 Harlequins
Friday 7th November
LV= Cup
Harlequins 31 - 21 Newport Gwent D'gons
Sunday 2nd November
Saracens 25 - 20 Harlequins

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Phil Edwards

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