Opposition view: Saints clash was 'a magnificent spectacle', says Harlequins coach Matson

Harlequins senior coach Tabai Matson reflected on a 'magnificent spectacle' after seeing his side suffer a 32-31 defeat to Saints on Friday night.

Danny Care was sin-binned late on against Saints
Danny Care was sin-binned late on against Saints

The two teams delivered a thrilling Gallagher Premiership tussle that went right down to the wire.

Ultimately, James Grayson's superb long-range penalty won it for Saints, who were beset by injuries throughout the game at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens.

Six home players were forced from the field at various stages, but Chris Boyd's side still somehow managed to prevail, strengthening their grip on fourth spot.

Harlequins remain third but will have to wait to confirm their place in the end-of-season play-offs.

“We were lucky to be only nine points down at the interval as they were a bit sharper than us, but we did well to manage both the yellow card and the passive scrums,” Matson said.

“However, with two minutes to go, we should be able to close out the game and sneak a valuable away victory, but if you come to the Gardens and are not at your best then you don’t get the result.

“Winning wasn’t to be as it was a tough penalty call by the referee (Matthew Carley), but our boys were slow into the breakdown and we will have to review that.

“The defeat means we haven’t got a ‘Q’ next to our name for qualification for the play-offs, so we will do our best to secure that next time against Gloucester, but we’ll have to improve dramatically if we are to retain our title.

“It’s strange that Boydy (Saints boss Chris Boyd) and I will be watching games this weekend and will be cheering on different sides for results in one’s favour, but last night was a magnificent spectacle and a really good game of rugby.”

Quins finished the match with 14 men after Danny Care was sin-binned for dissent.

“Danny is a jovial lad but he is a fierce competitor and was evidently fuming at the decision,” said Matson.