Monday, 10th September 2018 @ 22:00
Harlequins made it two wins from two in the Premiership Rugby Shield with an impressive 59-21 victory over Bristol Bears United.
Two tries from Alex Dombrandt and scores each from Jack Musk, Gabriel Ibitoye, Semi Kunatani, Harry Barlow, Alofa Alofa, Niall Saunders and Daniel Hobbs-Awoyemi helped Harlequins to a nine-try rout over Bristol Bears United.
The scores were level at 14-14 at the break with Bristol crossing twice in the opening 40, but Harlequins were too strong even with Bristol crossing again in the second half.
After the match, Ross Chisholm - who kicked six conversions on the night - said: "We've worked really hard over the summer, we're gelling well as a group and I think that's starting to show whether it's been in the league or tonight. We dig deep for eachother and do the best we can for the Club.
"Kicking from the tee isn't something I normally do so when [Tim] Swiel went down I thought 'I'm covering ten, this could be interesting' but it helps when you've got good players around you."
The visitors enjoyed much of the early possession with Harlequins’ defence putting in a number of big tackles. Bristol’s early dominance was rewarded with the first try of the evening. Tom Pincus made a break and offloaded to Dan Thomas before the ball was eventually worked to Jack Tovey who scored. Pincus converted.
Quins responded well with Alofa Alofa releasing Gabriel Ibitoye but the winger was just in touch before placing the ball down. From the resulting line-out, a Bristol error allowed Jack Musk to score, Tim Swiel converted to make it 7-7.
Bristol retook the lead through a try from Sam Bedlow who was set up by brilliant work from Pincus, who again added the extras.
Five minutes later, Harlequins hit back with a try from Alex Dombrandt scoring on his Stoop debut. The try was a lovely team effort with Harry Barlow, who had replaced the injured Swiel, and Gabriel Ibitoye helping to send the number 8 over. Ross Chisholm took over kicking duties and added an excellent touchline conversion to level the scores at half time at 14-14.
As with the first half, Bristol started on the front foot after the break. Pincus missed a penalty attempt but they would score their third try of the evening shortly after through Nick Fenton-Wells.
Once again, Harlequins responded with a fine move that would send Ibitoye over the line. Chisholm continued his excellent night from the tee and the scores were level once more. The home side were beginning to take control up front with replacement prop Daniel Hobbs-Awoyemi crashing over for the bonus point try on 57 minutes.
Following an impressive scrum from the forwards, Quins scored their fifth try thanks to Alofa Alofa after more good work by the hugely impressive Chisholm. The conversion gave Quins a two score lead for the first time in the match.
As Bristol tired, space opened up for Harlequins and they took advantage with four tries in the final ten minutes. First to cross was Niall Saunders after more good work from Ibitoye. Barlow completed a good night for himself with a well taken try in the far corner before Dombrandt scored his second of the evening. The rout was completed by Semi Kunatani whose breakaway try received the biggest cheer of the night from The Stoop crowd.
Following tonight's win, Harlequins return to The Stoop on Saturday to face Bath Rugby in the Gallagher Premiership (kick-off 15:00). Following the match, Harlequins Ladies will be taking on Bristol Bears Women as part of a Stoop Double Header (kick-off 17:30). To be there, purchase your tickets online or call the Harlequins Ticket Office on 020 8410 6010.