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Summary

  1. FT: Northampton 17-13 Harlequins
  2. Samu Manoa, James Wilson and Tom Wood score tries for Saints
  3. Nick Evans kicks two penalties for Quins
  4. Marland Yarde with injury-time try for Harlequins
  5. Wins sees Saints go 13 points clear at top of Premiership

Live Reporting

By Chris Osborne

All times stated are UK

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Northampton Saints 17-13 Harlequins

But that will do us for tonight. I'll leave you with

our match report from tonight's game, which saw Northampton Saints grind out a win over plucky Quins.

More to come

Fixtures
Chris Osborne

Plenty more Premiership action to squeeze in this weekend, make sure you catch some around your Six Nations viewing.

Northampton Saints 17-13 Harlequins

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder tells BT Sport: "Fortunately our drive was strong. We're slightly disappointed that we conceded the late try and couldn't push for a bonus point.

"We're in a good position, but nobody will remember us being in this position if we don't achieve anything."

Northampton Saints 17-13 Harlequins

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea tells BT Sport: "I thought we fought magnificently. The little things that happen - you need something to cling on to.

"The boys played until the end. We will look at our accuracy but there was a willingness to fight.

"We're here to win games, not come second, but the little things will turn when you have attitude like that."

Glance at the table

Northampton Saints 17-13 Harlequins

Table
Chris Osborne

So, what's that do for the Premiership table?

Saints go 13 points clear at the top of the table, with bath at Exeter tomorrow.

They've reached the 60-point mark, which is usually enough to bag you a play-off spot.

Quins add a point to their tally, but the small glimmer of a play-off hope has faded for them.

Northampton Saints 17-13 Harlequins

Northampton were not in sizzling form tonight, but they have that little bit of nous to see out a game that others might lose.

They used the driving maul to perfection, and even though Quins were in resilient mood, they were overpowered.

Conor O'Shea will be pleased with their fight though, and that try at the end was just rewards.

Northampton Saints 17-13 Harlequins

Northampton Saints lock Courtney Lawes tells BT Sport: "I was champing at the bit. Two months out is a long time. I'm back in the nick of time hopefully.

"In the first half I was hurting. But I got a second wind in the second half."

Full-time

Northampton Saints 17-13 Harlequins

A fair result overall, with a nice bit of drama at the death.

Try (Yarde, con Evans)

Northampton Saints 17-13 Harlequins

Marland Yarde
Getty Images

Well done Harlequins. They've grabbed a late, late losing bonus point and they fully deserve it for a battling performance.

Marland Yarde wriggles away and finds he has acres of space to run into and dot down.

The conversion from Nick Evans puts them within four points.

Northampton Saints 17-6 Harlequins

A final chance to snatch a bonus point for Harlequins in stoppage time, they're building patiently...

No try

Northampton Saints 17-6 Harlequins

It's not Harlequins' night, is it?

Charlie Walker goes over, and it looks like it might be a nervy finish for Saints.

But replays show there was a forward pass in the build up - so it's just disappointment for Quins.

Northampton Saints 17-6 Harlequins

Harlequins need something and they need it quick.

They've got their hands on the ball a bit more, and they're having a probe at the champions.

Quins will try and beat Saints at their own game, by going for a catch and drive in the corner.

Northampton Saints 17-6 Harlequins

Kyle Sinckler is treading a fine line.

Having already been sin-binned, he drags Ken Pisi out of play in an off-the-ball tackle.

No card for the prop, but a line-out for Saints.

Northampton Saints 17-6 Harlequins

Speaking of Courtney Lawes, here he is taking out poor Marland Yarde. It's a juicy tackle, and the Quins wing is a little rattled by it.

Northampton Saints 17-6 Harlequins

Samu Manoa and Courtney Lawes
PA

Courtney Lawes, in his 150th Saints appearance, is causing havoc with some of his trademark tackles.

Quins don't roll away at the ruck and Saints fancy another go with the driving maul.

Northampton Saints 17-6 Harlequins

Harlequins are replenished by Kyle Sinckler's exit from the sin bin.

They could have done with him a minute go though.

Northampton Saints 17-6 Harlequins

Lennie Newman

Ex-Northampton team manager on BBC Radio Northampton

"Saints have really had to wear this really resilient, hard-working Quins side down. I have been really impressed by Quins tonight."

Try (Wood, missed con Myler)

Northampton Saints 17-6 Harlequins

It was all just too much for Quins.

The catch and drive comes, and Tom Wood, like a stealthy burglar, sneaks at the back, smuggling the ball forward.

The pack give him the room to touch down. But Stephen Myler misses the kick.

Northampton Saints 12-6 Harlequins

Kahn Fotuali'i, whose hair has grown about three feet in the last week it seems, wins a penalty, and Quins have to survive one more line-out.

Northampton Saints 12-6 Harlequins

The crowd are frustrated with the scrum again. it takes a few goes to get locked in.

Harlequins almost lose it, but escape and win a penalty. The sin-bin clock has about three minutes to run...

Northampton Saints 12-6 Harlequins

Lennie Newman

Ex-Northampton team manager on BBC Radio Northampton

"You just feel that one or two Quins players are going down with genuine injuries. Saints need to keep the pace of the ball up. I am still expecting a bonus point win."

Northampton Saints 12-6 Harlequins

And, Harlequins front up again, stopping George Pisi in his tracks and then getting the scrum from a knock-on.

The Franklin's Gardens crowd have come alive, adding a bit of noise to proceedings.

Meanwhile, Quins' George Robson has hobbled off with what looks like a leg injury.

Northampton Saints 12-6 Harlequins

It's all about survival for Quins now.

Stephen Myler has put a lovely penalty into the corner, and here comes the catch and drive.

Northampton Saints 12-6 Harlequins

It's threatening to fall apart for Harlequins.

They give it away in midfield, and Kahn Fotuali'i is almost away. But, to be fair, Quins scramble well and hold the hosts at bay.

Sin-bin (Sinckler)

Northampton Saints 12-6 Harlequins

Quins down to 14 men. Kyle Sinckler goes in low on Samu Manoa and smashes through the legs without wrapping the arms around. It looks painful.

Northampton Saints 12-6 Harlequins

Is this becoming Harlequins' calling card?

So much ball, so much pressure, so little to show for it.

Try (Wilson, missed con Myler)

Northampton Saints 12-6 Harlequins

It all proves so costly for Harlequins.

Saints get the driving maul going and then swing through the phases.

It spins across field and Tom Stephenson provides the final pass for James Wilson to go over in the corner.

Stephen Myler can't pick up the extras though.

Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

Nightmare for Quins. Kahn Fotuali'i nicks it from Matt Hopper, who has no support at the breakdown.

And the visitors concede a penalty a few yards from the danger zone.

Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

Northampton have been misfiring from the line-out tonight, and they do it again as Sam Dickinson takes out a man.

It means they're going to be back under pressure.

Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

Harlequins will be wondering how they haven't scored in this half. Mark Lambert bulldozes to within half a foot of the line, but Quins concede a penalty by coming in from the side.

Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

Booo. No more brother scrapping. Kahn Fotuali'i replaces Lee Dickson, so Karl will have to play nice now.

Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

A reminder of Northampton's joker here.

They get fresh legs into the pack by bringing on Alex Corbisiero. Tom Wood's waiting in the wings too.

Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

A few loops of the replay and it's tricky to tell if Marland Yarde is out of play when he dots down.

The TMO says he was, so no try.

Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

Oh it's close. So close for Quins. Marland Yarde looks destined to go over, but it seems George Pisi may have just dragged him out of play.

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Chuck Macleod: Marching band at half-time woke up the crowd - let's hope for some better rugby in the second half.

Nick Powell: Could be Quins' day if they get a stroke of luck, big if though.

Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

The brothers get a bit tasty. Karl Dickson is late on his younger sibling Lee. Great stuff.

Kick-off

Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

Here we go again. Stephen Myler kicks, Harlequins keep it in the hand at the back.

Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

A correspondent points out that the boos were probably for the referee.

Most likely, yes. But I personally thought Tim Wigglesworth let it flow nicely - aside from that messy scrum before the break.

Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

A couple of stats from that first half for you.

Harlequins edged it in terms of metres (173 to 166), while they beat 14 defenders to Saints' four.

Everything else is pretty even - so Quins are close to getting it right. They just need to get a bit closer.

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Northampton Saints 7-6 Harlequins

Now then, how do you feel about that first half Harlequins fans?

Is it the same old story, play well but not winning? And Saints supporters, what do you need after the break? A higher tempo, I reckon.

Express your innermost opinions by using #bbcrugby on Twitter.