Kingston keen to highlight the difference Care can make

03 December 2017 09:24

John Kingston singled out Danny Care, whose individual brilliance secured a dramatic 20-19 win for Harlequins over Saracens at a sold out Stoop.

With 90 seconds of the Aviva Premiership contest remaining, Tim Visser pounced on Care's brave crossfield kick for the winning try - after the England scrum-half had earlier setting up two tries for Charlie Walker.

James Lang kicked a penalty and conversion to complete the scoring for Quins - but director of rugby was most impressed with Care's contribution.

Kingston said: "He's a wonderful footballer, he could have easily played professional football - and it's the smatterings of sparkle that he brings to the game which make him so special.

"It was a real grandstand finish and it's everything to win it but I think the team earned the right to stay in the game as they are an unbelievably tough nut to crack - but we had roughly the same about of possession and territory as them."

Injury-ravaged Quins saw England squad fly-half Marcus Smith withdraw from the selected lineout and they then lost experienced forwards, James Horwill and Will Collier during the game.

Kingston continued: "We lost senior players at crucial times so I got a message on that the remaining players had to step up even more.

"Our international players came back seamlessly into the side, including Jamie Roberts, who is the consummate professional. He tried his backside off today.

"It's only one league win but it will give us belief and I genuinely believe that this is the strongest squad we've had at the club since we've been here."

Brad Barritt scored Saracens' try, which Owen Farrell converted, before adding four penalties.

However, the visitors' director of rugby Mark McCall was disappointed as his team crashed to their third consecutive league defeat - a result which leaves them nine points behind leaders Exeter.

McCall said: "We were authors of our downfall as we weren't smart or intelligent and chucked the game away.

"There was a lot of effort from us, but it was ultimately wasted effort and the defeat was self-inflicted.

"We got ourselves into a winning position but we gave away stupid penalties and we've got to be better than that."

"Our situation is not ideal but we are OK as we are still third in the Premiership and are well placed in our European group."

Saracens suffered a further blow when England lock Maro Itoje left the field early in the second half clutching his face.

McCall explained: "Maro has a facial injury and has gone to hospital - but it's too early to say what the damage is."

Source: PA