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Saracens 52-7 Harlequins: Sarries thrash rivals to go second in the Premiership

Sean Maitland scores a try for Saracens against Harlequins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Sean Maitland scored two tries for Saracens against Harlequins

Gallagher Premiership

Saracens: (24) 52

Tries: Lewington, Dan 2, Maitland 2, Cinti, Gonzalez, Goode; Cons: Farrell 6

Harlequins: (0) 7

Tries: Dombrandt; Cons: Smith

Saracens thrashed Harlequins 52-7 in front of 61,000 fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Quins hardly laid a glove on the north Londoners as Sarries stretched their winning run to seven matches against their rivals in the Premiership.

Tries from Alex Lewington, Theo Dan and two from Sean Maitland gave Saracens a 24-0 lead at half-time.

Alex Dombrandt replied after Dan scored again, before Lucio Cinti, Juan Martin Gonzalez and Alex Goode sealed the win.

The victory lifts Saracens above Harlequins into second in the Premiership table, while Quins slip to fifth as a result of Exeter's win over Newcastle and their points difference taking a battering.

Saracens soon illuminated proceedings like the fireworks display before captain Owen Farrell's 250th game for the club and were ahead within three minutes thanks to Lewington's seventh Premiership try of the season.

Harlequins had hardly touched the ball and could not cope with the home side's quick passing and intensity in the early stages and lost captain Stephan Lewies to the sin-bin in the 14th minute.

And they were immediately made to pay, with hooker Dan driving over at the back of the Saracens maul from the resulting lineout after the penalty.

Farrell's perfect pass found Maitland, a late replacement in the line-up for Rotimi Segun, in acres of space to run in the third try.

Saracens then capitalised on another mistake from Harlequins as an overshot lineout went through to Dan.

The home side got the ball out to Elliot Daly whose brilliant through-the-legs pass found Lewington, who teed up his fellow wing Maitland for his second try of the game.

Harlequins could not live with the speed and skill of Daly, who was gaining great ground with his kicking from full-back and threading together the play in the Harlequins half on the attack.

The second half began in much the same fashion with Harlequins giving away another penalty, Farrell kicking into the corner and Dan driving over the line for his second try of the match.

Dombrandt got one back for Harlequins almost from nowhere, as he broke over the line after the maul had broken down.

Saracens made the points safe as Cinti finished off a nice move created by Nick Tompkins and the brilliant Daly.

Maitland then got within a whisker of his hat-trick but was able to roll the ball across to Gonzalez after grounding it just short of the try line, before replacement Goode dotted over to secure a massive win for Saracens in their first match back after the Six Nations.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall told BBC Radio London:

"We weren't expecting the scoreline or the performance to be quite at that level.

"Sometimes when you dominate a match it's not always reflected on the scoreboard but that wasn't the case today.

"This was all about the players because we only had two training sessions and people coming back from four places [after the Six Nations].

On Farrell's performance in his 250th game for Saracens: "It was incredible. He played as good as I've seen him today and I think he's going to be like that for the rest of the season, hopefully.

"He didn't like all the attention but the players wanted to make it a special week.

"And what a moment in the changing room when he was presented with a shirt, a very emotional moment."

Harlequins head coach Danny Wilson said:

"All the damage was done in the first half, when you go into a second half 30-odd-0 down it completely changes your game plans.

"Our defence was really poor today.

"But I would also say that's not been us this season, we came into the game second in the table.

"If you're off [the pace] in this league you will be in trouble.

"We were more than slightly off today and we were in trouble."

Saracens: Daly; Maitland, Cinti, Tompkins, Lewington; Farell, Van Zyl; M Vunipola, Dan, Judge; McFarland, Tizard; Gonzalez, Earl, B Vunipola

Replacements: George, Mawi, Riccioni, Isiekwe, Willis, Christie, Simpson, Goode

Sin-bin: Gonzalez (80)

Harlequins: Green; Lynagh, Beard, Esterhuizen, Murley; Smith, Care; Marler, Walker, Collier; Launchbury, Hammond, Lewies, Evans, Dombrandt

Replacements: Riley, Baxter, Lewis, Herbst, Trenholm, Green, Nortmore, David

Sin-bin: Lewies (13), Care (67)

Referee: Christopher Ridley