Friday, 15th February 2019 @ 18:45
Kick off 14:30
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Kick off 19:45
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Kick off 21:00
Harlequins remain third in the Gallagher Premiership table with a comprehensive attacking display against Worcester Warriors at The Stoop.
Tries from Joe Marchant, Gabriel Ibitoye, Mike Brown, Jack Clifford, Danny Care, Ben Tapuai and James Lang and a consummate kicking display from Marcus Smith mean that Quins remain firmly in the playoff picture at the conclusion of Round 13.
Quins came out firing straight from the whistle, scoring their first try in less than a minute. After forcing a turnover, The Magic Man Danny Care put a devilish chip into the Warriors half and, after opposing scrum-half Francois Hougaard failed to gather the ball, Joe Marchant ran over for the opening score. With the conversion slotted by Smith, Quins led by 7.
Worcester were keen to respond, however a brilliant defensive set from Harlequins forced a turnover, meaning that the hosts could get straight back on the attack. Then, on the seventh minute, Quins scored their second thanks to another well-placed chip, this time from fly-half Marcus Smith. Flanker Jack Clifford managed to get on the end of the kick and offload to winger Gabriel Ibitoye who crossed the whitewash to extend Quins’ lead. With the extras added by Smith, the hosts led 14-0.
Quins’ defensive tenacity continued to feature strongly with Alex Dombrandt, Max Crumpton, and Matt Symons leading the charge from the centre of the field. Thanks to this pressure, the home side were able to reclaim the ball and go back on the offensive and, on the 18-minute mark, fullback Mike Brown ran in his side’s third try after an opportunistic pick and go down the left touchline. Smith continued his 100% record from the tee, extending his side’s lead to 21 points to 0.
On the 27th minute, Worcester responded with a try of their own thanks to hooker Jack Singleton, following a disallowed effort two minutes before. Fly-half Duncan Weir stepped up to kick the extra points, making the score 21 – 7.
Seven minutes later, however, Quins responded with another try. Having scored himself few minutes earlier, Brown again picked the ball up from the back of a ruck inside the Worcester 22, but this time opted to put in a cross-field kick to the Jackman Jack Clifford who brought up the bonus-point try. This was the second consecutive match that Quins have achieved a try-scoring bonus point inside the first half, having done so against Newcastle Falcons in week 12. With the conversion added by Smith, the home side went into the break 28-7 up.
Comparative to the first, the second half took a while to get going however on the 50-minute mark, Worcester went over for their second try of the match through winger Bryce Heem. With the conversion missed by Weir, the score remained 28-12 to Quins.
After the try, Quins began to make some adjustments in personnel with Game Changers Lewis Boyce, Dave Ward, James Chisholm coming onto the field. The replacements continued to make an immediate impact, and on 53 minutes, The Magic Man Care sniped over the Worcester line from less than a metre out. With the extras added by Lang, Quins led 35-12.
On 59 minutes, fullback Mike Brown was sent to the sin bin after a high tackle inside his own 22, leaving Quins temporarily with 14 players on the field. Then at the 66-minute mark, Warriors made good their man advantage with a try from Wales international winger Josh Adams. With Worcester fly-half Weir leaving the field, fullback Chris Pennell took over the kicking duties, slotting home the conversion to reduce Quins’ lead to 35 points to 19.
The hosts, however, responded instantly thanks to a try from centre Ben Tapuai on the 69th minute. With the conversion added by Lang, the Quins led 42 points to 19.
Worcester came back at the home side instantly, scoring another try on 72 minutes through replacement scrum-half Michael Heaney. With the conversion added by Pennell, the score was 42-26.
Quins simply wouldn’t lie down, however, and two minutes later, Lang crossed for a try of his own to make the score 47-26.
Warriors replacement Tom Howe then went over for the final converted try of the contest on 79 minutes to leave the final score 47-33 to Harlequins.
Harlequins are back in action in the Gallagher Premiership next weekend when they welcome Bristol Bears to The Stoop on Saturday in Round 14 (kick-off: 14:00).