7th October 2017
6th OCTOBER 2017
HARLEQUINS 42 SALE SHARKS 26
Aviva Premiership Friday 6th October 2017
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins scored five tries and Marcus Smith added 17 points with his boot, as the hosts ran out 42-26 winners against Sale sharks at the Stoop on Friday.
Quins flew out of the traps with early tries from Tim Visser, Joe Marler and Joe Marchant, to take a 21-0 lead. Harlequins went into the break leading 27-7. Visser completed his brace in the second half to pick up the try bonus point, before Sharks hit back to close the gap, only for Marland Yarde to score late on to seal an emphatic win.
Quins were forced to make two late changes to their squad for the visit of the Sharks, as James Horwill and Ben Glynn both missed out.
Horwill, failed to complete his concussion protocol while Glynn missed out with a shoulder injury. Charlie Matthews moved from the bench to start alongside George Merrick while Dino Lamb and Archie White covered second row and back row duties among the replacements.
Quins were quickly on the board as early as the 12th minute following a Danny Care cross field kick that was gobbled up by Tim Visser who ran into the corner. Marcus Smith successfully converted the extras to give the home side an early advantage. Quins were soon on fire and quickly added to their score with two trys inside four minutes. The first followed an offload from Care tom Joe Marler who barged over under the posts. Smith had the simple task of converting to stretch the score to 14-0. Four minutes later Sharks looked shell shocked after Quins added their third try of the half when Joe Marchant charged down the ball and was successful in the run chase to dot down. Once again Smith was successful with the kick to give Quins a 21-0 lead after 25 minutes. Sharks hit back six minutes later following some lovely footwork from Mike Haley who cuts through Quins defence to go over. Conversion was successful as the Sharks cut the deficit to 14 points. A penalty two minutes from the break for Quins made the score 24-7. With time showing up a brilliant solo run from Smith who squared the ball to Marland Yarde who was stopped inches from going over the line. Quins made it 27-7 at the break with the last passage of play when the home side were awarded a penalty that Smith calmly slotted over to give the hosts a 20-point lead at the interval, 27-7.
The try bonus point was secured inside eight minutes of the restart when Care’s grubber kick was seized upon by Visser who went over in the corner. For the first time in the match Smith missed, but Quins still had a comfortable 32-7 lead. Sharks grabbed their second try of the night following a lineout and driving maul Halani Auilka crashed over. The conversion was missed with Quins still holding a 20 point cushion. Quins stretched the lead to 23 points through a Smith penalty. Sale were within one try of a bonus point when they picked up their third try of the night when an intercepted pass was seized upon by Sam James who ran from almost the half wat line to go over. Extras were added to make the score 35-19. Sale made it an anxious last ten minutes for Quins when the visitors claimed the try bonus point when Ross Harrison touched the base of the posts. The conversion went over to set up a grandstand finish. With four minutes remaining Quins made the game safe when good work from smith set up Yarde to run in under the posts. Smith added the extras. With a minute to go both Quins Tim Swiel and Sharks Byron Mcguigan both were shown yellow cards. Referee Matthew Carley soon blew for full time as Quins claimed a bonus point win, with the visitors also picking up a try bonus point for their efforts.