Opposition view: Harlequins 'won the physical battle' against Saints

Nick Evans saluted Harlequins for winning the physical battle against Saints at Twickenham on Monday evening.

Alex Dombrandt delivered a hat-trick for Harlequins
Alex Dombrandt delivered a hat-trick for Harlequins

Quins scored six tries as they secured a 41-27 victory in an enthralling encounter.

It moved them above Saints in the Gallagher Premiership standings and boosted the champions' top-four bid.

And attack and backs coach Evans was pleased with how his side bossed the fight.

"It was a really important game for us," Evans said.

"For us to come here and put on that kind of spectacle in front of 70,000 fans was really important for us.

"We worked really hard during the week and we knew the physicality battle against Northampton was going to be crucial. We won that."

While Alex Dombrandt grabbed the headlines with a hat-trick, powerhouse centre Andre Esterhuizen was named man of the match.

And Evans said: "He enjoys his rugby and it was a big game for him in front of a lot of fans.

"Our set piece was brilliant and we gave him a few opportunities to get some dominant carries.

"He's worked really hard and it was great to see him with a smile on his face.

"He's a big focal point in our attack and he loves the ball, loves the carry.

"Having someone like him, especially when the ball gets a bit slower, is great for our team."

Quins were without star man Marcus Smith as he tested positive for Covid-19.

But Will Edwards stepped in at fly-half and excelled as he steered Quins to victory.

"He did brilliantly," Evans said.

"He had to do it against Wasps a few weeks ago.

"Unfortunately, Covid is going to happen and it's something we're going to get used to.

"But Will did extremely well and we gave him the confidence to play his natural game.

"He understood the conditions and he plays a little bit like Marcus (Smith).

"He managed the game really well and he enjoyed the opportunity of coming here and playing in front of 70,000 fans."