Saracens’ captain Mako Vunipola believes discipline was key to Saturday’s London derby win over Harlequins and shows how much his team have improved in recent weeks.

In atrocious conditions, with heavy wind and rain swirling around StoneX Stadium, Sarries squeezed past the 2021 Premiership champions, 19-10, after three second-half penalties from Alex Lozowski.

They had previously scored two tries through Tom Woolstencroft and Sean Maitland in the opening 40, but failed to take a maximum points advantage with the bad weather making conversions tricky.

The two teams went in level at half-time before Lozowski’s boot and some impressive game-management from the Men in Black sealed the win.

Despite missing some key players currently away on international duty for the 2022 Guinness Six Nations, Saracens have now put together back-to-back wins for only the second time since October.

The result keeps them second in the table behind Leicester Tigers and Vunipola believes they are building momentum nicely.

“It was important for us to stay alive as the Quins have dangerous players all over the pitch,” he said. “I thought we stayed disciplined and made our tackles well.

“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve got much better, and you saw what it meant when we got that scrum penalty at the end.

“Again, defensively we stuck in there. We’re going to keep taking it week by week and just play as well as we can.

“Performances will dictate the result and we did that today so we’ve got some learnings to take from it and we’ll work to get better.”

Saracens head coach Joe Shaw concurred that the match was never going to be settled by fluid rugby in difficult circumstances.

Instead he was pleased with his side's resilience, particularly from some of the younger players in the team.

“What jumped out to me in the conditions which were very difficult was the energy in the group,” said Shaw.

“We showed some real fight and managed to move on from small setbacks very well.

“When you play against a quality side like Harlequins they’re never going to go away but we played the majority of the game in their third and the defence was fantastic.

“The boys up front were outstanding. They set the tone in that first half and really stepped up.

“To see some of the young lads having that extra responsibility was great, they had to step up and that is exactly what Saracens is about.”

Loosehead prop Vunipola added that he was relieved to grind out a win and that his teammates were not deterred by the poor weather in North London.

“The conditions dictated the game,” he added.

“It wasn’t one for the purists, but both sides were going for each other and we’re just glad to come out on top.”