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Saracens sink Harlequins late on as Jackson Wray try caps comeback in capital clash


Sunday’s game appeared to be heading for a stalemate until the 77th minute, when Jackson Wray notched a huge try for Sarries after Alex Lewington broke open the opposition defence.

Quins had led 19-9 just before half-time thanks to tries by Hugh Tizard, Cadan Murley and Tyrone Green, but Dominic Morris touched down to begin the fightback.

Underpinning Saracens’ comeback was the pinpoint kicking of Alex Lozowksi, whose five penalties meant they were always in the hunt.

The often stormy battle between London rivals lost its box office appeal when the timing of the derby meant eight players were lost to England’s squad for the Autumn Nations Series, but a captivating afternoon unfolded nonetheless.

There may have been no Owen Farrell, Marcus Smith, Max Malins or Joe Marler – all likely starters against Tonga on Saturday – but skill and passion were still abundant in a derby that went down to the wire.

Quins were grateful to Saracens’ indiscipline that helped them seize an early lead as Vincent Koch’s late hit on Tommy Allan was punished with a kick into the corner that offered the platform to attack.

Andre Esterhuizen powered through the visiting defence, and when the ball found Tizard the lock used his strength to force himself over the line despite the attention of several tacklers.

Lozowski replied with two penalties but Quins’ next attack was clinical as a long pass from Allan sent Tom Lawday galloping into space before Murley finished the move by steamrollering over Alex Goode.

A successful 50-22 by Allan kept up the pressure but the Italian fly-half then failed an HIA and when Saracens signalled for Lozowski to kick a third penalty, the crowd replied with calls of “boring”.

PA

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