Matt Gallagher hailed the influence of Saracens’ forwards after his side eased to a 28-21 victory over Harlequins to book their place in the semi-finals of the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Ben Spencer helped himself to all but five of the hosts’ points in a polished performance at Allianz Park, with winger Rotimi Segun also going over in the first half to help give Mark McCall’s side an early advantage.

And despite Quins scores from former England full-back Mike Brown and a late Gabriel Ibotoye effort, the reigning Premiership champions held on to progress into the knockout stages.

“I don’t think we appreciate the work of the forwards as much as we should,” full-back Gallagher said.

“The forwards do a hell of a job the whole of the time, and I’m happy to be a back to be honest!

“It was a really good performance from the boys – it was obviously tough in the weather conditions as it was raining a lot of the time.

“Quins really came at us hard throughout the whole game but luckily we got the win.

“It was windy, wet and not really a fan spectacle, but for me it was great fun getting up in the air and catching those high balls – I really enjoyed it and was really happy to get the win.”

Sarries will face Steve Diamond’s Sale Sharks in the semi-finals at the AJ Bell Stadium – to whom they lost 36-17 in the pool stages – with the knockout stages taking place at the beginning of next year.

Attention now turns to the advent of the Premiership league season next weekend, however, with McCall’s team hosting last season’s semi-finalists Northampton Saints in North London on Saturday.

Sarries currently have 15 players away on World Cup duty in Japan, but will head into the fixture buoyed by their Premiership Rugby Cup success where they finished second in Pool One behind Diamond’s side.

“We’ve been looking at these Premiership Rugby Cup games as pre-season games going into the Premiership, and we really want to do well in this competition,” added Gallagher.

“The boys are really hoping to get the game time and hopefully moving on in the tournament means the boys get to play more throughout the year.

“I think we’ve put ourselves in a great position to really fire into the Premiership – all the boys are really excited to kick on and we’re looking forward to it.”