Borthwick's all-action game leaves Quinns looking lifeless

Harlequins 9 Saracens 22

It was billed as a battle between the two pretenders to Riki Flutey's inside-centre spot for England but that never really materialised. Jordan Turner-Hall and Brad Barritt will be kicking themselves at missing a golden opportunity to impress Brian Smith, England's attack coach, who was at The Stoop to run the rule over two candidates for the No 12 jersey against Australia in November.

Both were starved of possession as Saracens won an often ugly kickathon. Indeed Turner-Hall came off with a left shoulder injury that could rule him out of the autumn internationals. It leaves Smith and England manager Martin Johnson with a problem. There are few stand-out alternatives to Flutey, who is sidelined with a shoulder injury. It may mean turning to Shane Geraghty, who has started the season well for Northampton.

Johnson will also be waiting anxiously for an injury update on his captain, Steve Borthwick. The lock was an all-action hero as he helped the Sarries pack turn the tables on Quins, but was forced off late on with a rib injury. Brendan Venter, the Saracens director of rugby, was full of praise for Borthwick. "You don't just want a fantastic captain and a tremendous guy, you want a guy who is playing good rugby. And he is doing everything," he said.

Sarries' pragmatic approach did for the error-prone Quins. Derick Hougaard, the fly-half making his full debut, booted three penalties, two drop goals and converted a try by Kameli Ratuvou early in the second half. Quins' second-half display was shambolic at times. They are rooted to the bottom of the table and maybe the effects of the "Bloodgate" scandal have permeated the squad. "We are snatching at opportunities and there seems to be an anxiety in our play," said John Kingston, their head coach.

Harlequins: Penalties N Evans 3. Saracens: Try Ratuvou; Conversion Hougaard; Penalties Hougaard 3; Drop goals Hougaard 2.

Harlequins: U Monye; D Strettle (J Drauninui, 63), T Masson (R Clegg, 58), J Turner-Hall (N McMillan, 71), G Lowe; N Evans, S So'oialo (G Williams, 69); C Jones, G Botha (T Fuga, 58), M Lambert (J Andress, 67, A Croall, 78), L Stevenson, J Evans, C Robshaw (T Guest, 64), N Easter, W Skinner (capt).

Saracens: A Goode; N Cato (R Haughton, 58); K Ratuvou, B Barritt, C Wyles; D Hougaard, N de Kock (J Marshall, 71); R Gill (T Mercey, 55), S Brits, C Nieto (R Skuse, 66), S Borthwick (capt, F Ongaro, 78), T Ryder (H Vyvyan, 29), M Owen (J Melck, 50), A Saull, E Joubert.

Referee: C White (Gloucestershire)

Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
world cup 2014A history of the third-place play-offs
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice