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Sarries end Quins' perfect start

Defiant Saracens ruined Harlequins' record-breaking Christmas party and ended their unbeaten start to the Aviva Premiership season with a ferocious 19-11 win at sold-out Twickenham.

Owen Farrell kicked 14 points and David Strettle scored against his old club as Saracens raced into a match-winning 19-3 lead after just 24 minutes.

Harlequins attempted a comeback and prop Joe Marler, whose pass had been intercepted by Strettle, scored in a dominant second-half performance from the hosts.

Saracens did not score another point but they defended resolutely to seal the victory in front of 82,000 supporters and close the gap on league leaders Harlequins to five points.

The extraordinary crowd was a world record for a regular-season club fixture, beating the 79,842 that watched Stade Francais v Clermont Auvergne in the French Top 14.

It was also the biggest crowd ever to watch a Premiership match, including any of the Grand Finals staged at Twickenham.

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