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Saracens thrash Harlequins as Exeter beat Newcastle

Saracens thrashed Harlequins, beating their London rivals 52-7 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Saracens were as rampant as Quins were rudderless, with tries from Alex Lewington, Theo Dan and two from Sean Maitland giving the hosts an unassailable half-time lead.

Dan crossed again at the start of the second period before a consolation try from Quins’ Alex Dombrandt.

Owen Farrell tackles Marcus Smith
Image: Owen Farrell tackles Marcus Smith

Argentine pair Lucio Cinti and Juan Martin Gonzalez got in on the act before an eighth try from Alex Goode sent Saracens into second place ahead of a trip to leaders Northampton next weekend.

Wing Lewington finished off a fine first move in the corner inside two minutes after bouncing off a poor tackle from Marcus Smith.

Saracens smelt blood and several backs poured in to a lineout drive with hooker Dan touching down.

Maitland helped himself to two scores in quick succession.

Lucio Cinti slides over to score his try
Image: Lucio Cinti slides over to score his try

There was no let-up after the half-time break. Once Joe Marler and Will Evans were penalised at the breakdown, Saracens re-established their base in the Quins corner and Dan found the whitewash again.

Quins finally managed to get themselves on the board after 50 punishing minutes as Dombrandt stretched over, but any hopes of a comeback were quashed by a lovely team try finished off by Cinti.

Pumas team-mate Gonzalez then picked up a loose ball to score on the hour mark before turning provider for replacement Goode as Saracens leapfrogged their fierce rivals into second place in style.

Alex Goode touches down for Saracens' eighth try
Image: Alex Goode touches down for Saracens’ eighth try

Exeter continue top-four push

Exeter maintained their push for a top-four Gallagher Premiership finish with a 25-16 victory over Newcastle.

The Falcons remain rooted to the bottom of the table. They could have gone home with a losing bonus point if fly-half Brett Connon hadn’t missed a penalty with the last kick of the match.

Newcastle scored a try after only 70 seconds, with winger Ben Stevenson bursting down the left flank and bouncing through a tackle to cross in the corner, with Connon converting superbly from the touchline.

A quick tap penalty saw Greg Fisilau reply with a try for the Chiefs 12 minutes later, but Exeter immediately gave away a penalty which was slotted by Connon to extend the Falcons’ lead to five points.

Benjamin Stevenson dives over to score Newcastle's first try at Sandy Park
Image: Benjamin Stevenson dives over to score Newcastle’s first try at Sandy Park

Exeter dominated the rest of the half.

Joe Hawkins sent a cross-field kick towards the corner, where Newcastle full-back Elliott Obatoyinbo dived to brilliantly keep the ball in play. He crashed into the advertising hoardings, injuring himself, leaving Zack Wimbush to stroll up and dot the ball down to level it up at 10-10.

The Chiefs’ forwards controlled the latter stages of the half, with Australia prop Scott Sio and lock Rusi Tuima both powering over from close range in the space of seven minutes to secure the try-scoring bonus point, with Josh Hodge adding a conversion.

The visitors reached the break 22-13 down. But Connon kicked three more points to put them within six of their hosts.

However, with the try bonus point already secured, the Chiefs opted for the kick at goal, and former Falcon Hodge – having hit the upright with an earlier 40-metre effort – slotted the three points to put Exeter two scores clear and secure victory.

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