Saturday, 2nd April 2016 @ 17:30
In an electric match at The Stoop Harlequins held off a second half Newcastle fight back to record a big 46-25 win at The Stoop.
First half tries to Tim Visser, Jack Clifford and Joe Gray saw Quins head into the break comfortably ahead 21-6.
A Joe Marchant score gave them the try bonus point early in the second spell before a stunning fight back saw the Falcons close the gap to 28-25.
Harlequins would hold their nerve with two Ben Botica penalties easing the pressure. Visser then scored his second of the afternoon and Marland Yarde crossed in the 80th minute, to run out comfortable 46-25 winners in front of a delighted home crowd.
Earlier in the day the sun was shining and conditions were perfect for some running rugby. Harlequins knew nothing short of five points would be enough to keep them in the play-off conversation.
While Newcastle would strike first via a Mike Delany penalty, Visser continued his stunning season for Quins with an intercept try in the fifth minute. It was his third in three games and it gave his side a 7-3 lead.
Delany would kick another penalty but Quins hit back quickly again. After turning down a shot at goal they kicked for the corner and Clifford would power over from the rolling maul. Botica would convert to give them a 14-6 lead.
A stop/start 20 minutes would frustrate the crowd with plenty of scrum resets and substitutions stopping the flow of the game with some nice interplay between Marchant and Yarde the only highlight.
Before the break there would be a final spark from the home side. Breaking from deep inside their own half the ball found itself in the hands of hooker Joe Gray whose fancy footwork got him close. Harlequins won a penalty and kicked for the corner.
Newcastle would steal the lineout but some quick thinking by Gray saw him bounce on the ball to score. Botica again converted and the home side went into the break 21-6 ahead.
Quins burst out of the tunnel looking to wrap up the bonus point and after some nice build up play, Marchant ghosted through untouched to score his first try for the Club.
Harlequins may have begun to think the game was theirs but Newcastle had other ideas. They would score two quick tries through Marcus Watson and Nili Latu to bring the score to 28-18.
Minutes later George Merrick was shown a yellow card for clearing out without his arms and Latu scored his second. Suddenly it was 28-25 with 20 minutes still to play.
The final quarter would prove to be all Harlequins though as back-to-back penalties from Botica eased the pressure.
In the 73rd minute, with the their tails up, Quins produced a moment of pure magic.
Attacking from inside their own half, the backline spread the ball wide. Marchant grubbered it through a gap and Visser would latch onto it, kick it ahead first time, collect and score for a stunning try. The crowd were on their feet for a truly breathless moment.
In his first season with the Club Visser has now scored ten tries in just 13 matches.
Conor O’Shea rung the changes including Matt Hopper who would come on for his 100th appearance for the Club.
In the final play of the match Quins extended the lead as Yarde found himself in space to step inside and go over- a deserved try after his hard work throughout.
The final score 46-25 as Harlequins keep themselves in both the top four and top six battles, that look set to go down to the wire.
Harlequins return to The Stoop next Saturday night as they take on London Irish in the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.