The origin of name Saracens comes from the Latin “Saraceni” “to steal, Rob, plunder” and also from the Arabic noun “Sariq” which means “Thief, marauder, plunderer.
But the 21st century Saracens found fortress Stoop impenetrable on a warm sunny autumn Saturday afternoon, and on this wonderful colourful occasion it was Harlequins who did the plundering.
Roared on by a crowd of 1,254 the home side appeared to feed off the mostly home support that applauded and cheered every thing that moved in a Quins shirt.
This was the performance Quins have been looking for, they never took a backward step and showed a cutting edge in attack against one of the best defences in the league.
Marlie Packer the Saracens flanker is a plumber by trade but it was the Quins boiler room of Abbie Scott and Zoe Saynor that proved too hot to handle.
Sarries found Quins cooking on gas as they turned up the rugby thermostat with a gutsy high tempo performance that was too much for last seasons champions.
A sun-baked crowd cheered Quins to victory as heroic first half defence gave way to some searing second half breaks from Shaunagh Brown, and scrum half Leanne Riley, who was back to her very best barking orders and keeping up the high tempo game that Quins thrive on with quick tap penalties.
Ellie Green kicked Quins into a 3-0 lead with a penalty in the 13th minute.
Saracens responded with two tries in two minutes from Botterman and Wardle to lead 12-3 after 28mins.
The flying Swede, Tove Viksten, crashed over in the 31st minute and Ellie Green converted to bring Quins back to within two points 10-12 a score that remained unchanged up to half time.
Saracens started the second half with all guns blazing and a Marlie Packer try extended Sarries lead to 17-10.
In the 60th munute, Kay Searcey was yellow carded for taking out Abbie Scott in the air, Quins responded with verve and panache to take full advantage an Ellie Green penalty brought Quins back to 13-17, and on 67 mins Heather Cowell finished off a wonderful back line move with a glorious try , Quins 30th of the season, superbly converted by Green taking Quins in front 20-17
Quins defence held firm and they ended the match firmly ensconced in the Saracens half.
The final whistle was greeted with a Roar from a knowledgeable home support that fully appreciated how significant a win this was
As the sun dipped behind the east stand, the players were still on the pitch signing autographs taking part in selfies, revelling in the wonderful warm glow that a memorable victory and such an occasion brings.
There was an accuracy and precision at training last week which was transferred into the matchday performance on Saturday, all credit to the coaches and players, and who knows maybe even my welsh cakes may have played a tiny part
As the ground slowly emptied a group of young girls in the crowd began singing “We love you Gary”, on this occasion it was not for Mr Barlow but for Mr Street, and after a tough few weeks off the field for the likeable Quins coach it was a song we’d all like to join in with.
Scoring sequence 3-0 3-5 3-7 3-12 8-12 10-12 Half Time 10-17 13-17 18-17 20-17