Match Reports

Nine-try Harlequins down Gloucester United

Monday, 3rd September 2018 @ 21:45

Braces from Gabriel Ibitoye, Jack Kenningham and Niall Saunders - and tries apiece from Charlie Walker, Tim Visser and Cadan Murley - saw Harlequins open their Premiership Rugby Shield campaign with an emphatic 61-14 win over Gloucester United.

Harlequins had the try bonus point wrapped up in under half an hour before Gloucester hit back with two tries of their own in the second half.

The hosts were too hot to handle and scored five further tries in the second half to round off a near-perfect night at The Stoop.

Rugby was back at The Stoop two and a half days after the senior side's emphatic win over Sale Sharks in the Gallagher Premiership. In a rebranded competition, Harlequins mixed a strong backline with a young forward pack - peppered with guests - to commence their 2018/19 Premiership Rugby campaign.

In the opening exchanges Harlequins looked dangerous, and a back three of Walker, Visser and Ibitoye started the match strongly to ask questions of the young Gloucester defence.

In an 11 try match, the first score didn't come until the 12th minute. The hosts recycled possession well in Gloucester's 22 before Tim Swiel - who scored eight conversions on the night - played in Ibitoye to get over from close quarters.

Despite an emphatic offensive display, Quins also looked good defensively, particularly at the scrum where a number of penalties were awarded against the Cherry and Whites.

The second try was a piece of individual brilliance from Charlie Walker, who occupied the 15 shirt in a pacy back three. Walker - close to the right touchline - chipped his kick towards the posts and gathered his own kick to get over.

Two tries turned to three when two of Quins' first year Academy players linked up excellently. Hugh Tizard shoved the would-be tackler and offloaded to an onrushing Jack Kenningham who skipped through to score.

Kenningham had his second - and Quins' fourth - shortly after when the back rower collected Tim Visser's offload to dash in tight to the left wing.

At the break Quins were streets ahead with the scoreboard reading 26-0.

The hosts started where they left off in the second half, performing admirably at the breakdown and defending well.

However, that defence was breached in the 45th minute when Gloucester buried over through hooker Henry Walker and Charlie Chapman added the conversion.

Quins hit back with their fifth, five minutes later, when Ibitoye raced through a fractured defence.

Gloucester rounded off their scoring for the night on the 53rd minute with a well-worked score. Replacement Ollie Adkins gathered Jacob Morris' offload to dot down from close range; Chapman again adding the extras.

From there Harlequins put their foot down and four further tries came in 22 minutes.

First it was Visser, who collected Ross Chisholm's inside pass from a clever break through the Gloucester defence. The hosts continued to capitalise on Gloucester's poor handling and replacement Niall Saunders grabbed a brace within five minutes.

His first was pure speed, again from Chisholm's break, and the second was an intuitive pick and go from a penalty given at close range.

The ninth - and final - score came three minutes from the end. Chisholm once again pulled the strings and selflessly played in Cadan Murley to score in the corner.

Harlequins head to Northampton this week in the Gallagher Premiership before returning to The Stoop to face Bath Rugby on Saturday 15th September (kick-off 15:00). You can purchase your tickets online or by calling the Ticket Office on 020 8410 6010.

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