7th JULY 2017
Harlequins will open their Aviva Premiership campaign with an away trip against newly promoted London Irish, in the London Double Header at Twickenham on Saturday 2nd September with a 4.30 pm kick-off.
Quins will then host Gloucester at The Stoop the following Saturday, before facing last season’s runners up Wasps in Round 3 at The Ricoh Arena on Sunday 17th September with a 3pm kick-off.
Leicester Tigers will visit The Stoop on Saturday 23rd September with BT Sport showing the game live, before Quins travel to Northampton to face Saints on the last day of the month.
Quins will open the month of October with a home game against Sale Sharks on Friday 6th.
Big Game 10 at Twickenham will feature Harlequins against Northampton Saints on Saturday 30th December.
Harlequins will end their Aviva Premiership regular season a trip to Worcester to face the Warriors on the 28th April before Exeter Chiefs come to South West London on the 5th May for Quins last game of the Aviva Premiership.
6th JULY 2017
Former Bristol Rugby second row Ben Glynn has joined the club as injury dispensation cover for Sam Twomey.
Twomey, who injured his foot early in the 2016/17 season, has had to undergo a further operation which will prolong his recovery beyond the start on next season.
Joe Marchant has extended his contract with the club. Marchant, was named as Adidas Supporters Player of the season at the club for 2016/17.
Aaron Morris has also extended his contract with the club. The full back is currently recovering from a shoulder operation, and is expected to be fit for the new campaign.
21st JUNE 2017
All Black Francis Saili has joined the club ahead of a brand-new season.
26-year-old Saili, joins Harlequins from Pro 12 side Munster Rugby, spending two seasons in the Province after three years playing for the Blues in Super Rugby.
The Centre also has the ability to operate on the wing, and has earned two International Caps for the All Blacks.
HARLEQUINS as at 14th June 2017
Harlequins have announced that James Horwill will Captain the side from the 2017/18 season.
The 32-year-old has 62 Test caps for Australia and captained his country on 16 occasions.
HARLEQUINS as at 8th June 2017
Harlequins have been drawn alongside La Rochelle, Wasps and Ulster Rugby in Pool 1 of next seasons European Rugby Champions Cup. Quins will travel to Coventry to face Wasps, the West of France to play La Rochelle and Belfast to take on Ulster. Quins will face the French side La Rochelle for the very first time.
Former fly-half Nick Evans, will join the Harlequins coaching team as Attack Coach following his recent retirement from the game. Evans, has been coaching Wimbledon RFC for the past two seasons, and oversaw their promotion last season to National League 2.
Harlequins secured European Champions Cup rugby next season after finishing sixth in the Aviva premiership. Despite suffering a 22-20 loss to Northampton Saints at Franklin Gardens, the loosing bonus point that Quins picked up was enough to book their place in Europe’s Premier Rugby competition.
Quins took an early 10-0 lead through a James Horwill penalty and a Nick Evans conversion. The home side hit back to go into the break level at 17-17. Despite a Evans penalty, a late Api Ratuniyarawa converted try was enough for a Saints win.
Hooker, Rob Buchanan has re-signed for the club. The Harlequins Academy graduate has made 116 appearances for the club since making his debut in 2010. Buchanan, has also scored ten tries for Quins in his career.
Harlequins kept up their hunt for a top six finish and a place in next seasons European Champions Cup after defeating top of the table Wasps 32-13 in the Aviva Premiership at a sold-out Stoop on Friday evening.
Nick Evans, on his last home appearance of the season before he retires from the game, kicked 22 points. Despite trailing 10-6 at the break, a terrific second half from the home side was enough to claim the win. Tries from Tim Visser and Joe Marchant was sufficient to enhance their chance of sixth place finish in the Premiership. Meanwhile, scrum-half Karl Dickson has announced his retirement from Rugby at the end of the season. The club have also announced that both Ross Chisholm and Charlie Mulchrone have re-signed for the club.
Nick Evans has announced his retirement from rugby at the end of the season. Evans, has made over 200 senior appearances for the club since joining in 2008. The fly-half has amassed a club record 2,217 points for Quins.
A valiant effort from Harlequins saw them lead Exeter Chiefs by 19-18 with almost twenty minutes remaining, but three tries from the Chiefs inside twelve minutes secured a 39-26 victory for Exeter in the Aviva Premiership at a sold out Stoop on Good Friday. Despite tries from Mat Luamana inside the opening three minutes and further tries from Nick Evans and Tim Visser in the 81st minute it wasen't enough for a loosing bonus point. Meanwhile, Dave Ward has re-signed for the club and commited his long- term future to the club. The club have also announced that Matt Hopper will leave the club at the end of the season to join French side Oyonnax.
Jack Clifford will undergo surgery on his shoulder and will miss the summer tour to Argentina. Clifford, is expected to be out of action for 12 weeks.
Harlequins have confirmed that Matt Shields, Owen Evans, George Naoupu, Dan Murphy, Luc Jones and Tyler Gendall will be released from the club at the end of the season.
HARLEQUINS 53 NEWCASTLE FALCONS 17
Aviva Premiership Saturday 25th March 2017
Peter Moore at The Stoop
Harlequins moved up to sixth spot in the Aviva Premiership, after running in seven tries in a scintillating Saturday afternoon performance.
Harlequins named 13 players returning to the side after the conclusion of the RBS Six Nations. Joe Marler, Danny Care, Tim Visser, Jamie Roberts and Mike Brown returned to the starting 15 with Kyle Sinckler named among the replacements. Alongside the returning internationals, Will Collier, James Horwill, Nick Evans and Chris Robshaw- who returned to the side for the first time since January 1st after a shoulder operation- came back from injuries, with Charlie Mulchrone, Jack Clifford and Tim Swiel also fit again on the bench. Dave Ward continued as Captain.
For the fifth time in seven home games at the Stoop, the game was a complete sell out.
Falcons opened the scoring as early as the sixth minute following a fine break from Mark Wilson, Sonatane Takulua went over under the posts. Following a successful conversion from the Tongan, Newcastle took an early 7-0 lead. Quins hit back with an Evans penalty and a try from Rob Buchanan who went in under the posts following a great break from the returning Robshaw and a lovely offload from Mat Luamanu. Evans kicked the extras to give Quins a narrow 10-7 lead after 15 minutes. The home side then made it 17-7 following lovely hands from Quins which resulted in Mike Brown running in under the posts. Evans added the conversion to give Harlequins a ten-point cushion. Falcons won a penalty from Takulua before the visitors Juan Pablo Socino was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes for a high tackle on Evans. The New Zealander slotted over the resulting penalty to restore Quins ten-point advantage. Takulua pulled three points back from the tee before Juan Pablo Socino was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes for a high tackle on Evans. The Kiwi slotted over the resulting penalty to stretch the lead back to ten points. With 40 minutes on the clock approaching Joe Marchant intercepted a pass from 30 yards out and ran in under the posts for Quins third try of the half. Evans added the extras to give the hosts a 27-10 lead at the break.
Quins were on the front foot right from the restart with Marland Yarde claiming the home sides try bonus point after a burst of pace from Brown who fed Yarde who had the simple task of running in under the posts. Evans added another conversion to make the score 34-10. Replacement Evan Olmstead became the second Flacons player to see yellow, this time for obstruction. Quins immediately capitalised with the numerical advantage following a line out Mat Luamanu was driven over. Evans with another successful conversion made it 41-10. Quins ran in their sixth try of the afternoon when Danny Care went over. Evans once again with another successful conversion stretched the lead to 38 points. There was consolation for Falcons when Mark Wilson was driven over in the 67th minute. There was still time for Quins to score their seventh try of the game, following a Marchant kick and chase, Tim Swiel went over in the corner to round off a very satisfying afternoon for the hosts.
Harlequins completed a remarkable late comeback to claim a bonus point win against Gloucester at Kingsholm on Saturday by beating the hosts 30-27. Quins went into the break holding a 15-10 lead, but the home side struck back to lead 27-15 with eight minutes to go. Hibbard recieved a yellow card and with Gloucester down to 14 men Quins took advantage with tries from James and Ross Chisholm to leave the scores level at 27-27, despite academy player James Lang missing the conversion, the 21 year-old made up for his earlier effort by slotting over a late penalty to win the match. Earlier Quins scored two first-half tries through Tim Visser and Charlie Mulchrone.
HARLEQUINS 18 LEICESTER TIGERS 27
Aviva Premiership 24th February 2017
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins unbeaten home record in the Aviva Premiership was ended at the hands of Leicester on Friday at the Stoop. Despite the home side leading 13-3 at the break, Tigers scored three tries in the second half to record a victory that pushed them closer to the play-off places, and ensured Leicester’s first away victory since November.
In a week that has seen Harlequins announce the signing for next season of tighthead prop Phil Swainston from Wasps, both these sides went into Friday evenings encounter desperate for a win to improve their chances of the play-offs.
Harlequins, unbeaten at home so far in this seasons Aviva Premiership, made four changes to the side that lost to Bath at the Rec last weekend. Nick Evans returned to the starting line up with Alofa Alofa named on the wing. Mark lambert was selected at loosehead prop with George Merrick named in the second row in place of Mark Reddish who suffered concussion last week.
In the opening twenty minutes the visitors who were having more procession were first on the board with a Freddie Burns penalty. With Quins first venture into the 22 with ball in hand resulted in a penalty which Evans slotted over. Three minutes later Quins grabbed the first try of the contest following a break which resulted in Matt Hopper’s chip which deflected of the post into the hands of Alofa Alofa who touched down. Evans kicked the extras to give Harlequins an early advantage. In the 32nd minute Evans went down with a shoulder injury and was replaced by Ruaridh Jackson. The Replacement fly-half was soon in the action following a huge driving maul which resulted in Leicester conceding a penalty which Jackson slotted over, to give Harlequins a 13-3 lead at half-time.
Tigers came out very much on the front foot and were the dominate side in the second half.
Within ten minutes of the half Tigers had turned the game around with two tries in six minutes. Sam Harrison went over in the corner and the visitors were also awarded a penalty try after Aaron Morris was given a yellow card for taking the man out. On viewing, Morris could consider himself lucky not to receive a red card, with a conversion from Burns that went over the post, the visitors stretched their lead to four points at 17-13. Another penalty saw Burns successfully claim three more points from his boot as Tigers increased their advantage to seven points. Tigers grabbed their third try of the half when Jackson’s pass was intercepted by Burns who ran in. Replacement Owen Williams kicked the extras to give the visitors a 27-13 lead. Despite late constant pressure from Quins which resulted in a try for Dave Ward in the 80th minute, it was left to Jackson with the last kick off the game to try and claim the losing bonus point. Unfortunately, his effort went wide as Leicester claimed their first victory at the Stoop for five years.
Harlequins returned back to Aviva Premiership action with a convincing 42-8 victory against Bristol at Ashton Gate on Friday. Quins led 13-8 at half-time thanks to a Joe Marchant try, but second half tries from Mark Reddish, Charlie Mulchrone and Matt Hopper sealed the try bonus point before James Chisholm dotted over late on to give Quins their first away victory in the Aviva Premiership this season. Meanwhile, Quins have signed scrum-half Dave Lewis from Exeter Chiefs. The 27 year-old will join Harlequins from the start of the 2017/18 season. Harlequins will travel to face the Exeter Chiefs on Sunday 12th March in the semi-finals of the Anglo-Welsh Cup, with a 3 pm kick off.
HARLEQUINS 10 SALE SHARKS 13
Anglo Welsh Cup Friday 3rd February 2016
Peter Moore at the Stoop
A late penalty from Sale was enough to give them a narrow victory and deny Quins a home semi-final in the Anglo Welsh Cup.
Quins went into tonight’s game knowing that a win would secure a home semi-final in this seasons competition. The home side made six changes from the side that were victorious at Worcester last weekend.
The only change to the back line resulted in Charlie Mulchrone starting at scrum half, in for Karl Dickson who suffered a broken leg last week. In the forwards, James Horwill started along with George Merrick in the second row. George Naoupu was named at blindside alongside Mat Luamanu.
In a match played in very difficult conditions with a swirling wing and heavy rain throughout, both sides traded penalties before Adam Jones was shown a yellow card for bringing the man down in the air. From the resulting penalty, a driving maul resulted in Neil Briggs crashing over. Addison kicked the extras to give Sale a 10-3 lead at the break.
In the 51st minute of a scrappy encounter, Sale were reduced to 14 men when Brian Mutaji was shown yellow for a high tackle. Six minutes later after four penalties were awarded to Quins, on the fifth Referee Mathew O’Grady had no option but to give Harlequins a penalty try. From under the posts Jackson slotted over the conversion to make the scores level.
With three minutes remaining Sale were awarded a penalty which Addison slotted over from under the posts, despite one last push from the home side, Sale held firm to deny Quins a home semi-final.
A spirited second half fightback from Harlequins saw them record a 28-22 bonus point win over Worcester at Sixfields on Saturday in the Anglo Welsh Cup. The hosts raced into a 14-0 lead before Charlie Walker struck. A terrific second 40 minutes from the visitors, with a try from Charlie Matthews and a brace from Alofa Alofa was enough to maintain Quins top spot in the pool, and guarantee a semi-final place in the competition.
Harlequins European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign was ended on Sunday when Stade Francais defeated Quins 27-17 in Paris on Sunday to book a quarter final place in the competition. Tries from Mat Luamanu, Marland Yarde and James Chisholm wasen't enough as the French side progressed in Europe.
HARLEQUINS 18 EDINBURGH RUGBY 23
European Rugby Challenge Cup Round 5
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Despite two late tries, harlequins suffered their first home defeat of the season in all competitions. Quins did have the consolation of picking up a losing bonus point, but the defeat meant that Edingburgh leapfrogged Quins to move top of the pool.
Quins were looking to maintain their unbeaten 100 per cent home record in all competitions, but were facing an Edingburgh side who were sitting in second place in the Pool, just two points behind Quins. When these sides met in the competition in Scotland in October the home side edged home by just a single point.
Tim Swiel started at fly-half, with Dan Murphy replacing Owen Evans in the forwards. Kyle Sinckler replaced the injured Will Collier with Quins also welcoming back Jack Clifford.
After both sides traded penalties, the visitors scored the first try of the afternoon when Fraser McKenzie saw a gap in Quins defence and burst through to score under the posts. Duncan Weir converted to give the visitors an early advantage. Three minutes later James Chisholm was shown a yellow card for committing a professional foul. Following a Quins Infringement Weir added another three points to the total, only for Swiel to reply from the tee. At the break the visitors held a seven-point advantage, leading 13-6.
After 50 minutes Kyle Sinckler became the second Quins player of the afternoon to be shown a yellow card, for retaliating against Marcus Bradbury, by throwing him to the ground. Within three minutes Edinburgh added another seven points to the total when Prop Allan Dell went over under the posts with Weir adding the extras. In the 70th minute Referee David Wilkinson went to his pocket once again to produce another yellow card, this time in the direction of Dave Ward, for a professional foul. Shortly after wards Weir kicked another penalty to give the visitors well in control. With just two minute remaining following a maul, replacement Mat Luamanu crashed over. Swiel added the extras to reduce the gap. With Quins hunting down a losing bonus point and 80 minutes on the clock, a kick and chase from Marland Yarde saw Joe Gray pounce to go over. Karl Dickson’s effort to add to the score failed as his kick fell short of the posts, to give the score line a much respectable final score of 18-23.
HARLEQUINS 29 SALE SHARKS 26
Aviva Premiership Saturday 7th January 2017
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins maintained their unbeaten home record at home this season after squeezing out Sale in a hard-fought win at the Stoop. Trailing 13-6 at one stage, Quins hit back with two tries during two minutes to stun the visitors to lead 20-13 at the break. With seven minutes to go Quins held a eight point advantage, only for Sale to score a try to leave the game on a knife edge. But the hosts held on to record four League points.
Harlequins were looking to maintain their unbeaten 100 per cent home record against a struggling Sale Sharks side on Saturday. The visitors came to South West London on the back of eight straight defeats. Quins made four changes to the side that salvaged a losing bonus point at Worcester on New Years Day, with Nick Evans returning to fly-half. Charlie Walker returned back to the starting 15 with Alofa Alofa moving from the wing to start at centre. In the forwards, Will Collier was named as tighthead prop. Quins were all missing three international players due to injuries. Chris Robshaw, Jamie Roberts and Jack Clifford all failed to make the squad.
Harlequins were forced into a late change when Joe Marler suffered a knock in the warm up and was replaced by Owen Evans. Quins were soon dealt two injury blows after Nick Evans was forced off with a HIA, and never returned. Collier was also taken off, which was confirmed later as a broken ankle. Owen Evans, the replacement who was called up to replace Marler went off with a shoulder injury, to be replaced by Adam Jones. Both sides traded early penalties before Sharks scored the first try of the contest when Denny Solomona went over, only after the TMO ruled that the try could be awarded. Quins hit back with a brace of tries inside two minutes. Charlie Walker broke away and went over. Following a loose ball Tim Swiel was quick to pounce, with a terrific burst of pace the fly-half ran half the length of the pitch to score. He converted his try to leave the hosts leading 20-13 at the interval.
Swiel added a further three points after the break, but resolute Sale hit back when a wonderful floated pass found an unmarked Byron McGuigan who crossed in the corner. The conversion was missed, but the gap was reduced to five points. Both sides traded penalties before another Swiel penalty kick from the tee went sailing over the posts to make it seven from 7 for him and increase the hosts advantage by eight points. But still Sharks weren’t dead and buried, with just three minutes remaining Solomona gathered a cross field pass to go over for his second of the afternoon and leave a grandstand finish. Quins with some solid defending held on to record another home victory, by the narrowest of margins.
Harlequins had to hold off a late Gloucester fightback, before recording a narrow 28-24 Aviva Premiership victory in Big Game 9 at Twickenham with over 77.000 people watching. Quins, looked to have the game sewn up when they went into a 28-10 lead, thanks to a brace of tries from Joe Marchant and a Jack Clifford try, but the Cherry and Whites stormed back with two late tries. Harlequins defended magnificently, and held on to record a victory which sees the club move up to sixth in the table. Meanwhile, Adam Jones has re-signed with the club. Jones, has signed a contract extension with the club which will see him with a dual role as a player and Assistant Forwards Coach.
Former Australian Captain James Horwill has extended his contract with the club. Horwill, has extended his contract to the summer of 2020.
HARLEQUINS 75 TIMISOARA SARACENS 3
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday 17th December 2016
Peter Moore at the Stoop
A hat trick from Jamie Roberts, and a brace of tries each from Mike Brown and Marland Yarde, saw Harlequins defeat a 14-man Timisoara Saracens 75-3, to record their biggest ever winning margin in Europe.
Harlequins made six changes to the side that had defeated their Romanian opponents seven days ago, with Rob Buchanan starting at hooker and Luke Wallace openside flanker. Internationals Tim Visser, Jamie Roberts, Marland Yarde and Mike Brown were all named in the back line.
The Romanians were immediately on the back foot as early as the second minute when Randall Morrison was show a red card from Referee Thomas Charabas for a high tackle on Marland Yarde. Within five minutes of the visitors being reduced to 14 men Quins opened the scoring when Luke Wallace went over. Ruaridh Jackson converted to make the score 7-0. In the 17th minute a brilliant solo effort from Tim Visser who brushed aside two tackles before touching down earned Quins their second try of the afternoon. Jackson added the extras to increase the home sides lead. The home fans didn’t have to wait long before Quins added their third try of the contest when Brown played in Roberts who dived over the line. Six minutes later and the try bonus point was secured when Roberts spotted a big gap and ran in for his second try of the afternoon. There was still time for another Quins try before the break when Brown collected the ball before darting two tackles and going over. Jackson made it 5 from 5 from the tea as the home side went into the interval with a very healthy lead at 35-0.
Within six minutes of the restart Quins had added another seven points to their total when Danny Care’s quick tap set up Yarde who crossed, the extras were added by Jackson to increase the lead. Eight minutes later try number seven came following a line out and a rolling maul saw Jack Clifford crash over. After 57 minutes the visitors finally got on the scoreboard for the first time through a Gabriel Conache penalty. Despite this, Quins added a further three tries in the course of seven minutes. Roberts claimed his hat trick, following fine work from Brown. Yarde received Kyle Sinckler’s pass and ran fully 40 yards before going over. Visser then broke before playing in Wallace who found Brown who crossed. With just three minutes remaining Quins were reduced to 14 men when Replacement Mat Luamanu was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle. With the last phase of the game, Quins ran in their 11th try of the match when Tim Swiel dived over the line. Swiel’s conversion cannoned of the post to end the contest, with Quins sitting on top of the Pool by three points with two games remaining.
Harlequins ran in six tries in a convincing 42-3 victory against the Rumanian side Timisoara Saracens in the European Rugby Challenge Cup on Saturday afternoon in Rumania. A brace from Charlie Walker and further tries from Dave Ward, George Merrick, Aaron Morris and Joe Marchant, ensured Quins picked up a bonus point win.
Six tries from the Falcons helped the home side to a narrow 38-32 victory against Harlequins on Sunday. Despite the loss, Harlequins picked up two bonus points thanks to a last minute try from Tim Visser and conversion from Ruaridh Jackson. Rob Buchanan and a brace from Karl Dickson went over the white line for Quins. Meanwhile, Quins have signed Samoan Internation hooker Elia Elia on a short term contract.
Harlequins maintained their unbeaten home record this season, after a narrow 21-20 victory against Bath at the Stoop on Sunday in the Aviva Premiership. Quins went into the break with a narrow 11-10 lead and managed to squeeze out a victory thanks to tries from Tim Visser and Karl Dickson alongside 11 points from Tim Swiel.
Harlequins made it two wins out of two in their Anglo Welsh Cup campaign after edgeing out Ospreys 15-12 at Swansea on Friday. Despite trailing 12-5 at the break, with George Naoupu going over for the visitors, a Charlie Matthews try and five points from the boot of replacement Tim Swiel, were enough for a narrow Quins win.
Harlequins opened up their Anglo Welsh Cup campaign with a hard fought 29-15 victory against the visiting Exeter Chiefs at the Stoop on Saturday evening. Tries from Full- back Aaron Morris, wing Charlie Walker and replacement Luc Jones sealed the victory for Quins. Fly-half Nick Evans kicked 14 points for the hosts. Meanwhile, Fly-half Tim Swiel has re-signed for the club. Alofa Alofa has also signed a contract extension for Harlequins.
HARLEQUINS 36 WORCESTER WARRIORS 14
Aviva Premiership Saturday 29th October 2016
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Quins ran in five tries in a convincing victory against Worcester on Saturday. At the half way point, there was nothing to separate the sides with the score 7-7, but four second half tries from James Horwill, Mike Brown, Joe Marchant and Tim Visser capped a fine second half performance from the home side.
Harlequins made five changes to the side that suffered a narrow defeat against Edinburgh in the European Rugby Challenge Cup at Murrayfield last Saturday.
Skipper Danny Care returned from a rib injury. Tim Visser also returned to the starting fifteen after a minor injury. Jamie Roberts was rested for the game. Will Collier was named at tighthead in place of Kyle Synckler, who picked up a knock last week. Charlie Matthews started in the second row and replaced Sam Twomey, who has a foot injury. Among the Replacements, Mark Lambert was in line for his 200th appearance in a Quins shirt.
Quins opened the scoring after four minutes when Tim Visser intercepted a loose pass from Dean Hammond. The flying winner ran almost three quarters of the length of the pitch before unselfishly passing to Care who ran in under the posts. Nick Evans converted to give the home side an early advantage. Despite a missed penalty kick from 22 yards out from Jamie Shillcok, the visitors drew level following a lineout. Ben Teo’s pass into the hands of Jackson Willison saw the number 13 cross. Shillcock was successful with the extras to level the game. On the half hour Quins were reduced to 14 men when Joe Marler received a yellow card for collapsing the maul. Despite having to play the remainder nof the half a man down, Quins held on as both sides went into the break level at 7-7.
Within minutes of the restart Harlequins James Horwill barged over following a phase of play that saw virtually all the team touch the ball, Evans converted to give Quins a seven-point cushion. Five minutes later Brown skipped through the Warriors defence to go over. Evans kicked the extras to increase the home sides lead. Warriors immediately struck back with a try from the excellent Ben Te’o, with Shillcock converting the gap was reduced to seven points. An Evans penalty restored the advantage to ten points, before Marchant intercepted a pass 80 metres out to score in the corner. Late in the game the crowd at the Stoop raised to their feet to applaud Mark Lambert, as he came on to the pitch for his landmark 200th appearance. With the clock winding down Visser twice went over. The first was denied by the TMO for a Care obstruction, the second time however the Scot wasn’t denied a try after an Alofa break with the final play of the game. Tim Swiel capping of the fine victory with a conversion.
HARLEQUINS 43 STADE FRANCAIS 21
European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool 5 Thursday 13th October 2016
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins maintained their unbeaten home record this season after a first half try scoring blitz secured a comfortable win against Stade Francais. Five first half tries gave Quins a comfortable 31-7 lead at the break. Despite a spirited late second half comeback from the visitors a last minute Marland Yarde try was the icing on the cake for the home side to open up their account in the competition.
On a week that has seen Quins sign former Newport Gwent Dragons scrum-half Luc Jones on a three-month deal, Fly-half Demetri Catrakilis, joining the club next season from Top 14 side Montpellier and Luke Wallace re-signing for the club. Harlequins, last season’s loosing finalists, opened up their campaign against Top 14 side Stade Francais. Quins made three changes to the side that defeated Northampton on Saturday. Tim Swiel came into the side at fly-half, replacing Nick Evans who substained a calf injury last week. Joe Marler returned after a back spasm to start at loosehead partnering Rob Buchanan and Will Collier in the front row. Both Kyle Sinckler and Mark Lambert were both unavailable due to concussion.
In their 50th game in the Challenge Cup, Quins suffered a late blow when Alofa Alofa had to withdraw from the game due to illness, his place was taken by Joe Marchant. Within the opening five minutes Quins were awarded a penalty which they kicked for touch, following the line out and a driving maul Joe Marler crashed over. Tim Swiel successfully converted for an early 7-0 lead. Following a nasty clash of heads resulting in a long delay whilst George Merrick received lengthy treatment, eventually the second rower was taken off on a stretcher and replaced by Sam Twomey. By the 21st minute Harlequins had bagged another couple of tries. After 18 minutes a Tim Visser kick and chase wasn’t dealt with by Stade Francais’s Jules Plisson as the fly-half misjudged the bounce Joe Marchant ponced to touchdown. Swiel missed the extras, but it didn’t disrupt the flow of Quins as three minutes later following excellent work down the left wing from Visser who passed to Mike Brown he returned the favour to send Visser in for an easy try. This time Swiel was successful with his attempt to give Quins a 19-point lead. The visitors got on the board with their first points of the contest in the 31st minute after a loose kick from Marland Yarde dropped nicely for Sekou Macalou to run in untouched. Plisson kicked the extra points to make it 19-7. Yarde atoned for his error four minutes later with a superb carry following the breakdown James Chisholm picked up the ball, dummied and fended off two challenges to go over to secure Quins bonus point try. On the brink of half time Chisholm had bagged his second try of the night and Quins fifth following a line out Chisholm went over in the corner. Swiel converted to seal an excellent first forty minutes for the home side, as they led at the break 31-7.
In the 57th minute Quins made it six tries for the night when Visser intercepted a pass and ran the full length of the pitch to score under the posts for his second try of the night. Replacement fly-half Ruaridh Jackson hit the post with the conversion but Quins extended the gap to 29 points. A late rally from Stade Francais resulted in tries from Clement Daguin and Replacement Willem Alberts who crashed over with 11 minutes remaining to reduce the arrears. But as the visitors fought for another try to claim a bonus point, Yarde went over in the corner, after consulting the TMO the try was awarded. Jackson converted with virtually the last kick of the game, as Quins opened up their European Rugby Challenge Cup with a fine victory.
HARLEQUINS 17 SARACENS 10
Aviva Premiership Saturday 24th September 2016
Peter Moore at The Stoop
For the second year in succession Harlequins became the first side this season to end Saracens unbeaten run at a sold out Stoop.
First half tries from Tim Visser and Charlie Walker gave the home side a 17-0 lead at the break. Despite Sarries scoring a try inside two minutes of the restart through Richard Wigglesworth, the home side held on to record a thrilling victory.
Harlequins suffered a blow before kick off when Marland Yarde was ruled out of the game following a throat infection. Directly straight from the kick off Joe Marler suffered a head injury, to be replaced by Walker. The home side were quickly into their stride and won a penalty in the third minute which Tim Swiel successfully converted. A couple of minutes later Tim Visser intercepted a loose pass to run in under the posts. Swiel kicked the extras to give Quins an early 10-0 lead. 15 minutes later constant pressure from Quins was rewarded after the home side won line out after line out and penalty after penalty. The ball was quickly moved from left to right and Walker went over in the corner, Swiel kicked the extra points to extend Quins advantage by seventeen points at the break.
Sarries were quick to respond at the start of the second half when Richard Wigglesworth scored a try under the posts. Fly-Half Alex Lozowski converted to narrow the gap to ten points. Swiel then hit the post with a penalty kick, only for Lozowski to miss two penalty kicks. With three minutes remaining James Horwill was shown a yellow card, from the resulting penalty Lozowski was successful this time. This set up a dramatic last few minutes, but Harlequins held on to record their second win of the campaign. The victory sets them up nicely for their visit to the Ricoh Arena on Sunday to face in form Wasps before Northampton visit the Stoop in two weeks’ time.
Harlequins suffered a 36-25 defeat at the hands of Exeter at Sandy Park on Saturday in their latest Aviva Premiership match. The visitors, who at one time trailed 19-6, produced a spirited second half fightback thanks to tries from Rob Buchanan, Danny Care and Charlie Walker, but a hat-trick of tries from England hooker Luke Cowan- Dickie ensured Exeter claimed their first win of the season.
Harlequins slipped to a 19-10 defeat at the hands of Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday. In- discipline cost the visitors, having also had Mat Luamanu shown a red card in the 71 st minute for a dangerous tackle on Josh Beaumont. The red card followed two sin-bin offences for Quins, who at one point were reduced to 13 men. Sale could thank the goal kicking of home debutant Dan Morgan who kicked 14 points and a try by Dave Seymour. Quins scored their only try of the game through Chris Robshaw.
Harlequins opened their Aviva Premiership campaign with a narrow 21-19 victory against newly promoted Bristol in the London Double Header at Twickenham on Saturday. Quins had to come from 14-3 down at half-time to squeeze home. The visitors went into a 14-3 lead with tries from Tom Varndell and the excellent Tusi Pisi, but Quins fought back well with two tries in the space of a couple of minutes before the break through Marland Yarde and Joe Marchant. Evans converted to give the home side a narrow 15-14 lead. Within a minute of the restart Edwards pounced for the visitors to go over the white line, but Nick Evans penalties in the 58th and 65th minute proved the difference between the sides.
Harlequins have made a double signing this week with both Alofa Alofa and Dan Murphy joinin Quins. Alofa, a Samoan international, can play at either outside centre or on the wing. Murphy, a loosehead prop joins the club after five years at Gloucester.
Quins most professionally capped player Nick Easter has announced his retirement from the game. Easter, who made 281 appearances for the club, was confirmed as a coach player, in charge of defence, in April. He will now take on this role on a full-time basis following the end of his playing career. meanwhile, Quins have also announced the signing of 21 year-old loosehead prop Cameron Holenstein. The youngster has joined the club from French Side Pau.
Both Charlie Walker and Winston Stanley have re-signed for the club.
Quins have signed 32 year-old former Connacht Number 8 George Naoupu for the forthcoming season.
Harlequins will commence their Aviva Premiership campaign with a home game against newly promoted Bristol at Twickenham as part of the London Double Header on Saturday 3rd September. Quins then face two road trips to Sale and Exeter before welcoming Saracens at the Stoop. Big Game Nine will see Quins face Gloucester at Twickenham on Tuesday 27th December. Harlequins will face Wasps in their last home game of the regular season before visiting Franklin Gardens to face Northampton in the last league game of the season.
For a full list of fixtures click on the link below:
Quins have been drawn alonside Edinburgh, Stade Francais and Rumanian side Timisoara in next seasons European Challenge Cup. Harlequins will also be part of the London Double header at Twickenham on Saturday 3rd September.
Harlequins have signed Highlanders second row Mark Reddish for the 2016/17 season.
Harlequins have announced that junior World Cup winning full-back Aaron Morris will join the club from Saracens ahead of the 2016/17 season.
Harlequins quest for silverware ended in Lyon on Friday evening after Quins suffered a narrow 26-19 loss to Top 14 side Montpelier in the final of the European Challenge Cup Final. Quins trailed by just four points at half-time before Montpelier extended their lead to lead Quins by 26-9. Marlande Yarde pulled a try back for Quins in the 71st minute, with Ben Botica adding the extras. Botica kicked another penalty to put Quins within seven points, but with time running out the French side held on to take the trophy. Earlier this week Quins were devasted by the news of the tragic loss of Seb Adeniran-Olule, who was killed in a road traffic collision. Seb, was one of the club's most promising youngsters. The front row forward made his debut for Quins aged 20 and made two senior appearances from the bench this season.
Harlequins as at 7th May 2016
HARLEQUINS 24 EXETER CHIEFS 62
Aviva Premiership Saturday 7th May 2016
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Exeter Chiefs secured a home semi- final tie after running in ten tries to inflict a heavy defeat on Harlequins at the Stoop. The Chiefs will now host Wasps in the semi-final.
On a week that saw Harlequins Announce that Scottish fly-half Ruaridh Jackson will be joining the Club ahead of the 2016/17 season, and the club also announcing that Ben Botica, Tito Tebaldi, Kieran Treadwell and Academy member Luke White will all be leaving the club, with Botica joining Top 14 side Montpellier and Tebaldi returning to Italy to play for Guinness Pro 12 side Treviso. In Conor O’Shea’s last home match in charge the Director of Rugby made eight changes to the side that beat London Irish on Sunday.
In a game that both sides needed to win for different reasons, Quins to guarantee a top six finish and be playing in the Champions Cup next season. For the Chiefs they knew a win would seal a home semi-final slot. Quins were on the board as early as the third minute through the boot of Nick Evans. 30 yards out Evans penalty kick sailed over the posts. Chiefs hit back with two tries in the space of five minutes. James Short went over in the corner before Quins were exposed at the back when Jack Nowell crossed to give Chiefs a seven-point cushion. Danny Care came within a whisker of getting Quins back into the game, only for the TMO to rule that Care was just short of the white line. On the stroke of half time Harlequins got themselves back into the game following a try from Danny Care. A Quins line out was won by the home side, the ball was worked to Jack Clifford his pass found Mike Brown who fed Care to run in under the posts. Evans converted to keep Quins in the game at the break as they trailed by seven points at 17-10.
Harlequins got off to the worst possible start for the second half when Nowell went over in the corner to give Chiefs the bonus point try. Short picked up his second try of the game after skipping past two tackles to touchdown. Steenson added the extras to put Chiefs in pole position. Jack Nowell claimed a hat trick of tries following an error from Quins. Nowell touched down with Steenson picking up the extras the visitors stretched their advantage to 26 points. Replacement Kyle Sinkler went over two minutes later with Botica kicking the conversion the gap was reduced, only for a rampant Chiefs to score their seventh try through Phil Dollman. Chiefs then added two tries in the space of a couple of minutes through Will Chudley and Henry Slade. There was still time to Quins to score a consolation try from Winston Stanley, only for Chiefs to hit back seconds later with their tenth try of the afternoon through Julian Salvi.
Despite being in the contest at half time, Quins where blown apart in the second half, conceding 45 points as Chiefs racked up seven tries in a totally dominate performance from the West Country side.
Harlequins moved back into the top six of the Aviva Premiership after a try bonus point win against London Irish at Reading on Sunday. Quins picked up five points in their 32-25 victory against the exiles, with a brace of tries for Charlie Walker and one apiece from Kyle Sinkler and Ross Chisholm. The defeat to Quins meant that London Irish have been relegated from the Premiership. Meanwhile, Harlequins have confirmed that current Head Coach John Kingston will become the Club's Director of Rugby from the beginning of the 2016/17 season. Mark Mapletoft will become Head Coach, after six years in the role of Backs Coach. The new coaching structure will also include Graham Rowntree, who will join as Forwards Coach.
HARLEQUINS 30 GRENOBLE 6
European Rugby Challenge Cup Friday 22nd April 2016
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins booked their place in the final of this seasons European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, after defeating French Top 14 side Grenoble at the Stoop on Friday evening.
Harlequins made five changes to the side that suffered defeat at the hands of Saracens on Saturday. George Lowe, the only change to the back line started at outside centre. In the forwards, Joe Marler returned from suspension and joined Adam Jones in the front row. James Horwill and Luke Wallace were named in the second and back rows respectively. Nick Evans was named amongst the replacements, returning back from a broken leg sustained against Gloucester.
On a very wet evening in South West London, it was Quins who managed the first points on the board, from a scrum Grenoble were penalised, up stepped Ben Botica, from the tee his penalty kick sailed over the posts. In the 12th minute Quins went into a 10-0 lead thanks to a Jamie Roberts try. The Welsh international burst through the middle to touchdown under the posts from Danny Care’s offload. Botica kicked the extras to give Quins an early advantage. Within the space of a minute both sides traded penalties before Grenoble won another penalty to cut the deficit to seven points at the break, with Quins leading 13-6.
Nick Evans, entered the action in the 51st minute and within three minutes the Kiwi had given Harlequins a 20-6 lead. Evans excellent weighted kick and chase resulted in the fly half touching down. A straight forward conversion under the posts put Quins in a strong position to win the game. In the 69th minute following a driving mall, Quins scored their third try of the night. Danny Care’s kick and chase found George Lowe who touched down. Evans kicked the extras to secure Harlequins place in the final at Lyon on Friday 13th May.
SARACENS 22 HARLEQUINS 12
Aviva Premiership Saturday 16th April 2016
Peter Moore at Wembley Stadium
Quins hopes of making the top four ended after suffering defeat at the hands of rivals Saracens at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. Three first half tries from the home side gave them a ten-point gap at the break, which they never let hold off.
With both sides having booked their semi-final slots in their respective European games, it was back to Aviva Premiership action this afternoon. Sarries were looking to enhance their position at the top of the table, whilst Quins were looking to try and get in to the play-off positions. Quins made four changes to the side that beat London Irish in the ERCC. Joe Marchant returned to the starting lineup. In the forwards, Will Collier started in the front row, with Charlie Matthews named in the second row. Nick Easter returned in the back row to partner both Chris Robshaw and Jack Clifford.
After four minutes Harlequins got the first points on the board after a huge scrum Sarries were peanalised. Fly Half Ben Botica’s effort from the tea from just inside Sarries half sailed over the posts. Sarries responded in the 14th minute when Chris Ashton finished of a well worked move by diving over in the corner. The resulting conversion was missed, as Sarries took a narrow 5-3 lead, only for Quins to hit back with Botica slotting over a penalty kick. After 30 minutes Saracens had retaken the lead, following a Quins line out. George Kruis stole the ball to go over. Charlie Hodgson converted to nudge Sarries in front 12-6. On the stroke of half time Saracens scored their third try of the half after excellent work from Neil De Kock, who beat four players before feeding Hodgson who went over under the posts, despite a missed conversion Sarries led at the break 19-9.
Within seven minutes of the restart Harlequins had cut the deficit to seven points with Botica’s fourth successful penalty kick. Replacement Owen Farrell kicked a penalty kick after 73 minutes to increase Saracens lead by ten points. Quins had a chance to grab a losing bonus point when they were awarded a penalty with the last kick of the game. Botica stepped up from 35 yards out, but dragged his effort wide of the posts. The win enhanced Sarries position at the top of the table, whilst for Quins defeat meant an end of their hopes for the play-offs.
Harlequins secured a semi-final place in this seasons European Challenge Cup, after completed a fine comeback against fellow Premiership side London Irish at the Stoop on Saturday. Quins had to come from 30-18 down, before completing a 38-30 victory. A hat trick of tries from Danny Care and a brace from Luke Wallace booked Qiuins semi-final place where they will face Grenoble in a couple of weeks time. Meanwhile, Quins have signed Worcester Warriors Charlie Mulchrone. The scrum-half will join Quins in July ahead of the 2016-17 season.
HARLEQUINS 46 NEWCASTLE FALCONS 25
Aviva Premiership Saturday 2nd April 2016
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins ran in six tries to keep the pressure on the sides above them in the race for the play-offs. For Falcons, they failed to pick up a single point as they continued their fight to stay in the Premiership.
Both these sides came into this contest, desperate for a win. Falcons had lost their last five in all competitions, whilst Quins were looking for their third win in the last nine games. Harlequins welcomed back Marland Yarde after injury alongside Chris Robshaw who started at Blindside Flanker.
In a frantic opening eight minutes the early exchanges were shared by both sides. Falcons opened the scoring after four minutes through a Mike Delany penalty from under the posts, but the home side were quick to respond just two minutes later when Tim Visser intercepted a loose pass and ran in under the post. Ben Botica kicked the extras to nudge Quins ahead, only for Falcons to draw within a point with a Delany penalty two minutes later. Harlequins grabbed their second try of the afternoon following a penalty, Quins elected to kick for touch, from the resulting line out a driving maul ended with Jack Clifford driving over. Botica kicked the extras to increase Quins lead. With half time approaching, following a line out, Joe Gray pounced to go over, Botica converted to give Quins a 21-6 lead at half time.
Within eight minutes of the restart Quins claimed the bonus point try after an offload from Botica to Joe Marchant who danced past a static Falcons defence to go over. Botica converted to increase Quins advantage by 22 points. Three minutes later Flacons scored their opening try of the afternoon. The visitors were right back in the game five minutes later when Nili Latu touched down, Delany added the extras to make it a ten-point game. Harlequins George Merrick was shown a yellow card to give the visitors a man advantage which they took advantage of. As the Falcons scored their third try in the space of five minutes following a driving maul Latu went over. Delany kicked the extras to reduce the deficit to three points. Botica increased Quins advantage to six points after 63 minutes with a penalty kick. Three minutes later Falcons were reduced to 14 men when Sean Robinson saw yellow. From the resulting penalty Botica slotted over to give Quins a 34-25 lead. Visser grabbed his second try of the afternoon following a chip and chase from the flying Scottish winger. Botica missed the extras, but the visitors were soon reduced to 14 men when Sean Robinson was shown a yellow card. From the resulting penalty Botica slotted over. With seven minutes remaining Visser grabbed his second try of the afternoon following his chip and chase he went over. With a couple of minutes left Falcons lost their second player to a yellow card when Mike Delany was show a yellow for a high tackle on Mike Brown. There was still time for Quins to get their sixth try of the afternoon when Marland Yarde went over in the corner. Botica converted to give Quins a much needed crucial win.
Despite two tries from Jack Clifford and Tim Visser, Harlequins slipped to a 29-23 defeat against Northampton Saints at Franklin Gardens on Sunday.
HARLEQUINS 15 WORCESTER WARRIORS 21
Aviva Premiership Saturday 19th March 2016
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Quins went into the game fresh from a 35-28 victory against Bath at the Stoop. The visiting Warriors were hunting down their third win in succession, as they looked to push their way up the table. Harlequins made one change to the starting 15, with Sam Twomey starting in the second row in place of George Merrick, who picked up a knock last week.
After both sides traded two penalties apiece, Worcester scored the first try of the afternoon in the 20th minute when Wynand Olivier sliced his way through Quins defence and went over in the corner, the conversion attempt from Tom Heathcote was wide, but the visitors took an early 11-6 lead. Warriors scored their second try of the afternoon in the 30th minute amid controversy. The touch judge appeared to raise his flag, as Henry Cheeseman appeared to keep the ball in touch, only for Referee Craig Maxwell- Keys to wave play on. Cheesman’s pass from the touch line went straight to Warriors GJ Van Velze who ran in. Heathcote kicked the extras to stretch the visitors lead to 12 points. Before the break Quins cut the gap through Botica’s third successful penalty kick of the afternoon as Worcester went into the break leading 18-9.
Quins clawed three points back from the boot of Botica in the 66th minute, only for Worcester to restore their advantage with another Heathcote penalty kick. Botica converted his fifth successful penalty kick of the afternoon to reduce the gap to six points. With only a minute remaining Heathcote had a great chance to increase the Warriors lead, only to drag his penalty effort wide. On fifteen previous Aviva premiership attempts Warriors had failed to beat Quins, but today was their day as they left with four points, for Quins efforts the afternoon produced just a losing bonus point.
HARLEQUINS 35 BATH RUGBY 28
Aviva Premiership Friday 11th March 2016
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins secured victory in front of a sold out Stoop. Leading 35-6 after 65 minutes Quins looked like heading towards a comfortable victory, but the home side had to hold of a spirited Bath fight back that saw them pick up three tries in the final 15 minutes to claim a losing bonus point.
Harlequins went into tonights game rocked with the news that winger Marland Yarde is expected to be out of action for approximately 4 to 5 weeks with a shoulder injury. There were four changes to the side that lost to Sale last week. Karl Dickson and George Lowe returned to the side from injury. Charlie Walker was named in the starting fifteen alongside 2nd year academy member Henry Cheesman, who was making his debut for the club. Among the replacements, Sam Twomey and Ollie Lindsay-Hague returned to the side having recovered from injury.
After Ben Botica had put the opening points on the board with a penalty, Harlequins scored the opening try of the match when Karl Dickson intercepted a high ball, his offload found Harry Sloan who ran in to score. Botica missed the conversion as Quins took an early 8-0 lead. Bath looked to have scored their first try of the game through Horacio Agulla, but were denied by a brilliant try saving tackle from Ross Chisholm inches from the line. Within three minutes both sides traded penalties with Quins holding a five-point advantage. Bath were reduced to 14 men when Chris Cook received a yellow card for a deliberate knock on. From the resulting penalty Botica slotted over to increase Quins lead. On the stroke of half-time Quins scored a fine team try, made by Mark Lambert and finished off in grand style by Charlie Walker. Botica kicked the extras to give Quins a 21-6 lead at the break.
Within five minutes of the restart Quins stretched their lead with two tries in the space of three minutes. Charlie Walker intercepted the ball to run almost the full length of the pitch, as his blistering pace left the visitors chasing shadows, to score under the posts. Bortica kicked the extras. Two minutes later the home side secured the bonus point try when James Horwill crashed over. Botica made no mistake from the tea to increase Quins lead to 29 points. Sam Twomey was shown a yellow card for pulling down in a line out, as Bath’s Amanaki Mafi touched down in the corner, the resulting conversion was missed as Quins led 35-11. Bath capitalized on their one-man advantage when Jeff Williams crossed in the 70th minute to cut the deficit. Three minutes later Bath ran in another try through Semesa Rokoduguni, Holmer added the extras to make it a ten-point game. A penalty from Homer secured a losing bonus point for the visitors, Despite the late fightback from Bath and a yellow card to Captain James Horwill, Quins claimed a much need victory in front of another sell out crowd at the Stoop.
HARLEQUINS 25 LEICESTER TIGERS 19
Aviva Premiership Friday 19th February 2016
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins returned to winning ways at the Stoop on Friday, in a game that see sawed one way and the other. Marland Yarde’s late try ensured the points for the home side.
Quins went in to Fridays encounter against the Tigers on the back of four consecutive defeats in all competitions. Harlequins made five changes to the side that lost to Gloucester at Kingsholm last weekend. Dave Ward moved from the openside flank and started in the front row alongside Adam Jones and Mark Lambert. James Horwill captained the side in the second row with Nick Easter returning at number 8. In the backs, Winston Stanley started at outside centre. Ben Botica came back into the side at Fly-Half in place of Nick Evans who underwent surgery on a broken leg this week. Evans, is expected to be out for 12 weeks. Among the replacements, Quins named Sam Egerton, who joined Harlequins from England Sevens as injury cover for Karl Dickson.
On another sold out evening in South West London,in front of the watching England Coach Eddie Jones the match began with a swirling wind and driving rain. Both sides were on the board early on with penalties before an intercepted pass from Tigers Telusa Veainu almost resulted in the opening try, but was denied by a fabulous last ditch tackle from Ross Chisholm. Tim Visser’s chip and go saw the winger chase after the ball down the left hand side, before the ball bounced into touch. Quins were penalised in the 22nd minute with Bryant knocking over from under the posts. Shortly afterwards Tigers were penalised at the scrum, Botica made it two from two to level the score. A minute later Tigers were awarded another penalty, which the 20-year-old Fly Half converted to edge the visitors in front, only for Botica to make it three from three to level the score at half time 9-9.
Quins were awarded a penalty just outside the 22 which Botica kicked from the tee to give Quins the lead for the first time. Botica was back in the action again in the 53rd minute with a successful penalty kick to increase Quins lead by six points, only for Tigers to hit back and retake the lead three minutes later when replacement Harry Thacker went over in the corner. Freddie Burns kicked the extras to give Tigers a narrow one-point lead. Harlequins were awarded another penalty in the 67th minute with Botica’s fine evening continuing as he nailed his sixth attempt from seven to put Quins back in front with a two-point advantage. Leicester won a penalty in the 73rd minute, only for Burns to push his effort wide of the posts. With five minutes remaining a Botica kick over the top was seized upon by Marland Yarde who crossed in the corner, Botica converted to give Quins the lead 25-16. In a frantic last few minutes Tigers reduced the gap with a Burns penalty. The visitors threw everything they could at Quins in one last frantic push deep into added time, which included 21 phases, but the Quins defence held firm to record a much needed victory.
A Ben Foden try in the last minute robbed Quins of victory against the visiting Northampton Saints at a sold out Stoop on Saturday. Leading 23-20 with eight minutes to go Quins looked like holding on to a valuable win, in a game that see sawed either way. A George Merrick try and a Ross Chisholm try along with 13 points from the boot of Nick Evans were Quins points scorers.
Despite leading 19- 10, Quins suffered a 26-19 defeat at the hands of Newcastle at Kingston Park on Sunday. The home side snached victory with a last minute try from Rob Vickers. Charlie Walker grabbed a brace of tries for Quins along with a Dave Ward effort. Consolation for Quins is that they do pick up a losing bonus point,. Meanwhile, Harlequins European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter Final against London Irish at the Stoop will be played on Saturday 9th April with a 20.05 kick off time.
Harlequins Director of Rugby Conor O'Shea will leave the club when his current contract finishes at the end of the season. Meanwhile, Joe Marler has re-signed with the club.
Harlequins secured a home quarter final in this seasons Europoean Rugby Challenge cup with a 34-26 victory against the Cardiff Blues at the Stoop on Sunday. Quins ran in 28 points in the opening 40 minutes, with tries from Rob Buchanan, Jack Clifford, Marland Yarde and Ross Chisholm. Quins had to survive a superb second half fightback from the Blues, but managed to hang on in the end to register their fifth consecutive win in the pool, and claim a 100 per cent record, with five wins and 25 points out of 25 available. Meanwhile, both Rob Buchanan and Harry Sloane have both commited their future to the club.
HARLEQUINS 29 SARACENS 23
Aviva Premiership Saturday 9th January 2016
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins defeated Saracens at the 15th attempt in Premiership and European matches at the Stoop, in spectacular fashion, having to come from behind twice to ensure victory.
On a week when Hooker Dave Ward, and second rowers Sam Twomey and Charlie Mathews re-signed for Quins, a sellout crowd at the Stoop welcomed the first and third sides in the Premiership. Sarries came to the Stoop boasting a 100 per cent unbeaten record, having won all eight games in the Premiership this season. The visitors had also won on their last five visits to the Stoop, and Quins having won just once in their last 14 meetings against Sarries. Quins made four changes to the side that defeated Worcester. Rob Buchanan and Adam Jones were named in the front row with Jack Clifford starting at 8. Marland Yarde returned to the starting lineup, on the wing. Quins were forced into three changes to the replacements bench after Will Collier failed a late fitness test following a knock he substained this week, and was replaced by Joe Gray. Nick Easter was withdrawn from the matchday squad due to personal reasons. For the visitors, Neil De Kock and Owen Farrell returned to the starting lineup, with Billy Vunipola making his 50th appearance for Sarries.
Saracens suffered a huge loss as early as the second minute when George Kruis ducked into a tackle from James Horwill and fell badly. Horwill was shown a yellow card by Referee Craig Maxwell- Keys. Kruius was treated by the medical staff, before being stretchered off. The game was delayed by around seven minutes. From the restart Sarries gained six penalties in a row as they looked to get the first points on the board. After the sixth penalty was called, Sarries called for a scrum, just a few meters from the line. From the resulting scrum Neil De Kock bundled over. Farrel kicked the extras to give the visitors the early advantage. Quins responded in the 22nd minute following a quick line out, Danny Care’s pass fell nicely for Rob Buchanan to go over in the corner. Nick Evans dragged the resulting conversion wide as Quins reduced the arrears to two points. Saracens quickly responded following a scrum, Billy Vunipola brushed aside two challenges to go over. Farrell kicked the extras to give the visitors a 14-5 lead. But back came Harlequins with a penalty from Evans and an outstanding team try, started by some excellent work from Yarde, Evans with an outrages back flip pass to Jack Clifford who went over. Evans kicked the extras, to complete a fine first half comeback from Quins as they led 15-14 at the break.
Two penalties from Farrell extended Sarries lead to five points after 53 minutes, before a Ben Botica penalty closed the gap, only for Farrell to kick another penalty for the visitors. On 65 minutes Saracens Rhys Gill was originally shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on George Lowe, only for it to be changed to Red. Another successful penalty from Botica clawed Quins to within two points with 12 minutes remaining. With swirling wind and rain around the Stoop in this pulsating encounter which ebbed and flowed it was Quins who had the momentum. Botica made it three from three with eight minutes to go, then in the final minute following a Quins line out James Horwill barged over to seal an outstanding victory, and end Sarries unbeaten start to the season in all competitions.
Harlequins edged a tight encounter 24-20 at Sixways on Sunday against Worcester. Quins took a 17-3 lead into the break, only for the Warriers to produce a great fight back. A brace from Charlie Walker and a Luke Wallace try secured four points for Quins.
Harlequins and Gloucester played out a thrilling 39-39 draw in Big Game 8 at Twickenham on Sunday. Tries from Marland Yarde, Danny Care, Nick Easter and a brace from Ross Chisholm ensured Quins grabbed a bonus point try and two points from the game. Quins had to come from behind to level, with Nick Evans drop kick right at the death just going wide of the post to win the game for Quins. Meanwhile both Evans and Adam Jones have re-signed for the club.
HARLEQUINS 59 RUGBY CALVISANO 7
European Rugby Challenge Cup Saturday 19th December 2015
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins ran in nine tries to consolidate their position at the top of their pool in this seasons European Rugby Challenge Cup.
On a week that had seen both Marland Yarde and George Lowe re- signing for the club, along with Super XV winner Back Row Beau Robinson, who has joined the club from NSW County Eagles, as an injury dispensation cover for Netani Talei, Quins made seven changes to the side that had beaten the Italians in Italy seven days ago. Wales and British Lion Jamie Roberts made his debut for Quins, along with Owen Evans, who was making his starting debut. George Merrick was named in the 2nd row, along with Dave Ward who returned to openside flanker. Tito Tebaldi made his starting debut, with Yarde returning after injury, on the wing. Charlie Mathews was also reaching a milestone, making his 100th appearance for the club.
Quins opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Yarde went over in the corner following an offload from Tim Swiel, Botica converted to give the home side an early advantage. The Italians were reduced to 14 men when Nicola Belardo saw yellow. Almost immediately Calvisano pulled level when Marco Susio intercepted a pass and ran almost the full length of the pitch to go over. Florin Vklaicu added the extras to make it an even game. Harlequins regained the initiative on the stroke of half time following a tap and go from Botica, Dave Ward fed Kyle Sinckler who burst through the middle to go under the posts. Botica added the extras to give Quins a 14-7 lead at the break.
Within two minutes of the restart Quins thought they had added to the scoring following a punt upfield, Botica looked to have won a race to go over the line and touch down, only for his effort to be ruled out. Not to be deterred, Quins picked up a brace of tries inside two minutes. Jack Clifford ran in under the posts following an offload from Botica. The Kiwi added the extras before Quins secured the bonus point try with an outstanding team work try, culminating in Yarde’s offload to Ross Chisholm who went over. Five minutes later following a Ward offload, Debutant Jamie Roberts dived over, Botica converted to give Quins a comfortable 26-point cushion. A rampant second half performance from Quins continued when Charlie Walker went over in the corner, before he became provider for Botica to go over the white line. Quins ran in try number eight following excellent work from Chisholm to find Swiel who went over. There was still time for Harlequins to add to their tally of points for the afternoon when replacement Karl Dickson crossed the white line with eight minutes remaining, to cap a scintillating second half performance as Harlequins maintained their 100 per cent record in the competition, and enhanced their position at the top of the pool, having won all four games with a winning bonus try point in each.
Harlequins completed a 50-10 victory in Italy against Calvisano in the European Rugby Challenge Cup pool match on Saturday. Quins ran in eiight tries, thanks to a brace from Luke Wallace, Mark Lambert, Jack Clifford, Ross Chisholm, Matt Hopper, Kyle Sinckler and Charlie Walker. The bonus point win ensured Quins remain on top of the pool with maximum 15 points. Meanwhile Jack Clifford has commited his future to the club by signing an extension to his contract.
HARLEQUINS 38 LONDON IRISH 7
Aviva Premiership Saturday 5th December 2015
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins ran in five tries to record a try bonus point for the fourth consecutive week.
Harlequins made four changes to the side that lost narrowly against Exeter seven days ago. Ollie Lindsay-Hague was named on the wing, with Dave Ward starting as hooker. Adam Jones returned to the front row with Luke Wallace returning to the back row. On Friday Quins were boosted by the news that Captain Danny Care had signed a long term contract with the club. Irish came into the game, still looking to pick up their first points of the campaign. The exiles were forced into a late change before kick off when Captain Matt Symons had to withdraw through illness.
Quins opened the scoring in the seventh minute when the exiles were penalised for not rolling away, Nick Evans had the simple task of slotting over the posts. Quins thought they had scored the opening try when replacement Ross Chisholm sprinted forty meters to go over in the corner, only for his effort to be ruled out for a foot in touch, after Referee Luke Pearce consulted the TMO. Quins eventually registered the opening try of the game when Tim Visser burst through the middle and went in under the posts. Evans converted to give the home side a 10-0 half time lead.
Within eight minutes of the restart, Quins scored their second try of the afternoon, Mike Brown offloaded to Danny Care who dived over. Evans kicked the extras to give Harlequins a 17 point lead. Tim Visser scored his second try of the afternoon, powering over the line, after an off load from Care. For the second time in the afternoon Visser was denied a try by the TMO for his foot in touch. Not to be denied, Quins claimed their bonus point try of the afternoon when Visser went over in the corner for his hat trick. The excellent boot of Evans added the extras to increase Quins lead to 31 points. To compound the exiles miserable afternoon, they had Tom Cruse sent to the sin bin, with Quins immediately scoring their fifth try of the afternoon following a driving mall replacement Jack Clifford went over. Replacement Ben Botica kicked the extras. On the stroke of eighty minutes Irish got a consolation try through Halani Aulika, but overall it was an afternoon to forget for the exiles, as Quins maintained their unbeaten home start to the season.
Harlequins outscored Exeter by four tries to two, and secured two bonus points in a narrow 26-25 loss to the Chiefs at Sandy Park in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday. Quins try scorers were, Nick Evans, Charlie Walker, Tim Visser and a penalty try. The two points from the trip to the West country kept Quins in the top four of the Premiership.
A stirring second half performance from Harlequins, ensured they kept up their 100 per cent record in this seasons European Challenge Cup, after completing a 30-22 victory against Cardiff Blues in Cardiff on Friday night. Despite falling 6-0 down after 30 minutes, Quins ran in four second half tries from Tim Visser, Ollie Lindsay- Hague, Charlie Walker and Danny Care to ensure they remain in top spot in their pool.
Harlequins recovered from being 9-0 down, to record a bonus point 41-18 win agianst Montpellier in the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the Stoop on Thursday. Quins ran in six tries, with Luke Wallace, Nick Easter, Jack Clifford, Danny Care, Chris Robshaw and Ollie Lindsay-Haugue all crossing. Meanwhile, Mike Brown has commited his future to the club by signing a new long term deal.
HARLEQUINS 16 SALE SHARKS 14
Aviva Premiership Friday 6th November 2015
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins recovered from a 7-3 half time deficit, to edge a close encounter by just two points.
Quins made four changes to the side that defeated Bath 38-28 at the Rec last weekend. Dave Ward started at Hooker, with Luke Wallace coming into the back row. Charlie Mathews made his first start of the season in the second row, with Matt Hopper starting at Inside Centre.
Sharks opened the scoring in the 17th minute when a Danny Cipriani cross field kick was spilled by Tim Visser with Dan Braid taking advantage to go over. Cipriani kicked the extras to give Sale a 7-0 lead. Cipriani missed a long range penalty before Nick Evans put Quins on the board with a penalty kick from just outside the 22. Evans had a great chance to keep the home side to within one point, but he dragged his penalty kick effort wide of the post on the stroke of half time. Within three minutes of the restart, Quins cut the gap to a single point when Evans nailed a penalty. The home side took the lead for the first time when Evans cross field kick found Tim Visser who crossed in the corner. Evans converted to give Quins a narrow 13-7 lead. Another Evans penalty increased Quins lead. With 15 minutes remaining Sale cut the deficit to just two points when Sam James went over, Cipriani kicked the extras to set up a tense finish. Sharks had a great chance to snatch the points when Charlie Matthews was penalised for pushing down at the line out. Cipriani, uncharacteristically dragged his penalty effort wide of the posts. With Sale pushing to snatch victory, the game went past the 80 minute mark. Cipriani tried his luck with a drop goal, which went wide, as Quins recorded their third win of the season.
Harlequins secured a 38-28 victory against Bath at the Rec on Saturday. Despite trailing 13-12 at half time, tries from Danny Care and Dave Ward and 28 points from the in form Nick Evans sealed Quins second win of the season.
Harlequins suffered a narrow 22-19 loss to Leicester at Welford Road on Sunday. A late Tigers try denied Quions victory. A Jack Clifford try and 14 points from the boot of Nick Evans were Quins points scorers.
HARLEQUINS 26 WASPS 21
Aviva Premiership Friday 16th October 2015
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Captain Nick Evans was instrumental in setting up an opening night victory for Quins. Evans kicked 18 points as well as a try to cap a superb performance for the Kiwi,
Harlequins gave a start to three new signings, British and Irish Lion Adam Jones, former Australian Captain James Horwill and Number 8 Mat Luamanu. Joe Marler, Nick Easter and Mike Brown, all returning back from England duty, were named as replacements. Danny Care missed the game due to a back spasm received in England’s game against Uruguay and Chris Robshaw was rested. Both Care and Robshaw should be back for the trip to Leicester next week. For the visitors, new signings George Smith, Jimmy Gopperth and Brendan Macken made their debuts. Both James Haskell and Joe Launchbury, were rested after their England duties.
Wasps put the first points on the board in the sixth minute through a Jimmy Gopperth penalty kick. Within sixty seconds Quiuns responded when Nick Evans levelled with a penalty kick. Evans nudged Quins ahead with a successful penalty kick before the visitors scored the first try of the game when Jake Cooper-Woolley wriggled over in the corner, the conversion was missed, but the visitors had a slender two point advantage. In the 25th minute Quins regained the lead when a Karl Dickson kick and chase was seized on by Evans who went over in the corner, he successfully kicked the extras to give Quins a five point cushion. Another Gopperth penalty reduced the arrears, before the former Leinster man had a great chance to give the visitors a narrow lead, only for his penalty kick effort to fall wide of the post as Quins headed into the break leading 13-11.
Within two minutes of the restart Quins extended their lead by seven points after George Lowe went over the white line, Evans kicked the extras to give the home side some breathing space. Another three points from the boot of Gopperth reduced the gap to six points. With ten minutes remaining Quins were awarded a penalty, with the reliable boot of Evans his effort went over the posts. Five minutes later the reliable boot of Evans was in action again with another effort over the posts. There was still time for Wasps to gain a losing bonus point when Elliott Daly raced over, Ruaridh Jackson kicked the extras to set up a frantic finish, But Quins held firm to get off to a winning start in this seasons Aviva Premiership.
Harlequins have announced that Danny Care will take on the Captaincy role for the forthcoming season.
The EPCR have confirmed the fixtures for the first four rounds of this seasons European Rugby Challenge Cup. Quins will face Montpellier at the Stoop on Thursday 12th November. In Round 2, Quins will travel to Cardiff to face the Blues on Thursday 19th November. On Saturday 12th December Quins travel to Italy to face Rugby Calvisano, before hosting the Italians a week later at the Stoop.
Harlequins have signed New Zealand born Number 8 Mathew Luamanu. The back row forward joins Quins from Guiness Pro 12 side Benetton Treviso.
Harlequins will open its 2015/16 campaign at home against Wasps on Friday 16th October. Back to back away matches follow against Leicester and Bath, before Sale visit the Stoop on Saturday November 7th. Big Game 8 will be on Sunday 27th December at Twickenham Stadium with Quins entertaining Gloucester.
For the complete list of fixtures. Check out the official Harlequins website www.quins.co.uk
Harlequins have been drawn alongside Montpellier, Cardiff Blues and Rugby Calvisano in Pool 3 of next seasons European Rugby Challenge Cup.
HARLEQUINS 26 BATH RUGBY 27
Aviva Premiership Friday 8th May 2015
Peter Moore at the Stoop
An outstanding man of the match performance from Harlequins legend Ugo Monye, failed to give Quins a win in their final home game of the season, as Bath edged a thriller at the Stoop on Friday.
For Quins final home game of the season, it was another sell out at the Stoop, as Quins welcomed high flying Bath to South West London. Ugo Monye and George Robson appeared in a Harlequins shirt for the last time at the Stoop, while Bath welcomed back England international David Wilson from the injury that ruled him out of England’s 2015 Six Nations campaign.
On the week that Harlequins announced that Aseli Tikoirotuma will be joining London Irish next season and Darryl Marfo will be making the move to London Welsh. It was a fairly tail start to the match for Monye as he went over in the corner, following a surging run from Marland Yarde, he found Danny Care who spotted Yarde on the left wing, his inch perfect pass fell into the grateful hands of Monye who raced in to score. Nick Evans missed the extras, as Quins took an early lead. Shortly afterwards Quins were reduced to 14 men when Jack Clifford was sent to the sin bin for holding down a maul. In the 18th minute a George Ford penalty reduced the deficit to two points. With Clifford back on the field, bath took the lead when Captain Francois Louw crashed over, Ford’s conversion nudged the visitors into a five point cushion, only for a penalty from Evans under the posts, to reduce the gap to two points. A huge driving maul from Quins resulted in a penalty try shortly before the break. Evans kicked the extras to give Quins the lead at the break 15-10.
Bath retook the lead four minutes into the second half when Horacio Agulla went over, Ford kicked the extras to put the West Country side ahead by two points. In a pulsating contest which ebbed and flowed throughout, a superb cover tackle from Matt Banahan denied a try for George Lowe, before Quins nudged back into the lead through another Evans penalty. The home side were awarded another penalty which Evans successfully knocked over. Two minutes later Bath restored their slender lead when Leroy Houston went over, Ford converted to give the visitors a three point advantage, only for that man Monye to go over in the corner for his second try of the night. Monye was replaced with ten minutes remaining, to a standing ovation from the crowd. The reaction he received from the home fans seemed to get to him, as he bid an emotional farewell to the Quins faithful.
With just four minutes remaining Bath were awarded a penalty fully 35 meters out, up stepped Ford to nail the kick and give Bath victory by just a single point in a thrilling encounter.
Harlequins completed a 25-23 victory against the Sale Sharks at the A J Bell Stadium on Saturday. Quins found themselves 25-6 up at one point, only for Sharks to fight back and claim a losing point. Harlequins picked up a bonus point, thanks to tries from Charlie Walker, Chris Robshaw, Marland Yarde and Danny Care.
HARLEQUINS 29 GLOUCESTER RUGBY 26
Aviva Premiership Saturday 11th April 2015
Peter Moore at the Stoop
A brace of tries inside five minutes, secured Quins a home win in a close contest at a sunny Stoop on Saturday.
For the fourth time this season the sold out signs were up at the Stoop, as both teams emerged to some brilliant South West London sunshine. It was Quins who opened the scoring in the tenth minute when Danny Care took a quick tap to Aseli Tikoirotuma who spotted Charlie Walker to his left, the Fijian passed to Walker to run along the line into the Corner. Nick Evans missed the conversion, but the home side had their noses in front. Eight minutes later the boot of Greig Laidlaw with a penalty gave the visitors their first points on the board. Both sides traded penalties in the course of a couple of minutes, before another Evans penalty gave the home side a slender five point lead. In the 30th minute Bill Meakes went over for a try, following a fine dummy from James Hook, Laidlaw converted to give the visitors the lead for the first time. With four minutes remaining in the first half Quins were reduced to 14 men when Joe Marler was shown a yellow card by Referee Luke Pearce. Playing the remaining time a man down, Quins conceded no further points as Gloucester went in to the break with a 13-11 lead.
After Marler had served his ten minutes in the sin bin, within two minutes Gloucester had extended their lead to seven points when Charlie Sharples, unmarked went over. Laidlaw missed the conversion, but two minutes later Quins responded with two successful Evans penalties to close the gap to just a single point. In the 59th minute, for the second time in the game Quins were down to 14 men when Jack Clifford was despatched to the sin bin for ten minutes for a late tackle .Referee Pearce was back in the action again when he produced two yellow cards in the course of a minute by sending replacement Ross Moriarty and Charlie Sharples to the bin for the visitors. A minute later from a rolling maul Marland Yarde went over in the corner to nudge Quins ahead by just a single point at 22-21. Quins took further advantage of the extra men when Ollie Lindsay-Hague went over under the posts, Evans kicked the extras to give Quins an eight point advantage. There was still time at the end for Gloucester to score a consolation try through replacement Dan Robson, despite Laidlaw missing the conversion, it was Quins who were victorious at the end in a very closely thought contest, as the fight for a European place for next season continues.
Harlequins have announced that loose head prop Owen Evans will join the club next season from Newport Gwent Dragons.
Despite an early Jack Clifford try, Harlequins went down to a 42-14 defeat at the hands of Saracens in front of a world record crowd at Wembley on Saturday. Harlequins have also announced the signing of British and Irish Lion Adam Jones. The club have also announced the signing of Tim Visser for next season. The 27 year-old Scottish winger will join Quins from Pro 12 side Edingburgh.
HARLEQUINS 26 LONDON IRISH 20
Aviva Premiership Saturday 7th March 2015
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Danny Care, returning back from injury, inspired a welcome Quins victory against their London rivals at the Stoop on Saturday.
Both these sides went into Saturday’s game in a poor run of form. Quins had lost their last five games in all competitions, with the exiles registering just one victory in their last five. Harlequins made four changes to the side that had lost to Northampton. Tight head Prop Matt Shields made his starting debut. Nick Easter returned at 8 along with Danny Care, who had recovered from a calf strain. Ross Chisholm started at Full Back. For Irish, Tom Court, Halani Aulika, Nic Rouse and Blair Cowan made the starting fifteen, with Shane Geraghty named as Captain.
In a glorious sunny day in South West London, and Luke Wallace making his 100th senior appearance for Quins, it was Harlequins who put the first points on the board, through a Nick Evans penalty from right under the posts. Irish were penalised six minutes later and Evans converted again. The Exiles got themselves on the board in the 14th minute with a Shane Geraghty penalty from the 22 to reduce the gap. Evans maintained Quins six point advantage with a penalty, before a wonderful team try involving some lovely offloads, passes from Mark lambert and Nick Easter to Danny Care who went over in the corner. Evans kicked the extras to give Quins a 19-6 lead. Irish got themselves back into the game in the 33rd minute when Ross Chisholm misjudged a bounce from a long kick and Conor Gilsenen ran in unchallenged. Geraghty kicked the extras to make it a six point difference at half time.
Within eight minutes of the restart Quins scored their second try of the afternoon following some good offloads from Marland Yarde and Charlie Walker, Matt Hopper went over in the corner, Evans made it five successful kicks out of five to stretch Harlequins lead to 13 points. Irish battled back to score a try on the counter attack in the 66th minute when Tom Fowlie brushed aside a couple of tackles to run in from the half way line to cross over the white wash. Geraghty continued his fine kicking form to reduce the deficit to six points and give Quins fans a nervy last 10 minutes. But Quins held their nerve, to record their first victory in six games.
A late Marland Yarde try secured Quins a losing bonus point against leaders Northampton Saints at Franklin Gardens on Friday. Quins went down 17-13, with two penalty kicks from Nick Evans and a conversion from Ben Botica, the other point scorers for Quins.
HARLEQUINS 21 EXETER CHIEFS 32
Aviva Premiership Saturday 21st February 2015
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Twenty seven points from Chiefs Henry Slade, ensured Exeter maintained their push for the play-off places, and condemned Quins to a home defeat.
In front of Quins fourth sell out of the season, and in the week that both Mark Lambert and Charlie Walker committed their future to the club with contract extensions until 2017, Harlequins went into the game with two changes to the side that had lost heavily to Bath last week. Dave Ward started at Hooker, with Nick Easter, released from the England squad, captaining the side. The Chiefs, who had a comprehensive 46-17 victory against Newcastle last week, were unchanged.
The Chiefs were up against it as early as the seventh minute when Ian Whitten was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock on. From the resulting penalty Nick Evans kick went over the post. Quins almost scored the first try of the game when Evans charged down a ball, and just failed to touch down, after Referee Mathew Carley consulted the TMO. Chiefs found themselves down to 13 men when Phil Dollman saw Yellow after taking out Marlande Yarde. Quins quickly seized the initiative when a well worked move ended with Evans going over, despite the fly half missing the conversion Quins led 8-0. Henry Slade gave the visitors their first points on the board with a penalty. In the 23rd minute Chiefs took the lead for the first time when a Danny Care box kick was charged down and Ben White ran in for a simple try. Slade kicked the extras to give the visitors a slender lead. Slade had another penalty kick six minutes later, but his effort came of the post and went wide. However he quickly made up for this when another effort went over. Evans responded for Quins with a penalty kick to reduce the deficit to just two points, only for Quins to be penalised on the stroke of half time for collapsing the scrum. Slade’s kick went over the posts to give the Chiefs a 16-11 lead at half time.
Having ended the first half on the front foot, Chiefs thought they had started the second half with a try through Thomas Waldrom, only for it to be ruled out for a forward pass. Ten minutes later Chiefs extended their lead when Slade ghosted through untouched to score under the posts, he kicked the extras to give Chiefs a 23-11 lead. Both sides traded penalties, only for Quins to be penalised. Slade stepped up and slotted over to give Chiefs a 15 point cushion. The home side responded when Matt Hopper went over in the corner, Evans kicked the extras to reduce the gap to eight points, only for Chiefs to be awarded another penalty, which Slade converted. With two minutes left, Thomas Waldrom became the third Chiefs player to receive a yellow card. With one last surge forward from Quins, Exeter turned the ball over to kick for touch, and record victory, and enhance their chances of a play-off position.
A late penalty in the 78th minute from fly-half Rory Jennings denied Quins victory in the LV=Cup against Bath at the Stoop on Saturday.
Tries from Tom Williams and Charlie Williams and 11 points from the boot of Nick Evans were Quins points scorers in the 23-21 loss.
Despite scoring seven tries, Harlequins were eliminated from this seasons European Rugby Champions Cup, after securing a 47-19 bonust point win against Castres in a very cold France on Saturday.
Tries from Joe Marler, Charlie Walker, Danny Care, Jack Clifford, Mark Lambert, Marland Yarde and George Lowe ensured Quins got the 5 points for the bonus point win, but it wasen't enough as Wasps 20-20 draw with Leinster meant Quins finished third in their pool.
Tight head prop duo Will Collier and Kyle Sinckler have both signed contract extensions with the club. Collier has re-signed until 2018, with Sinckler commiting himself until the end of the 2016/17 season. Meanwhile, Scrum- Half Karl Dickson has extended his contract with Quins until the end of the 2016/17 season.
Back Row, Luke Wallace has committed his future to Harlequins by signing a contract until June 2017. The 24 year-old, a product of the Harlequins Academy, is close to making 100 appearances for the club. Centre Matt Hopper has also committed his future to the club, by re- signing until at least June 2017.
In a thrilling encounter at the Stoop on Saturday, Harlequins produced a stunning performance to defeat the Leicester Tigers 32-12 in the Aviva Premiership. Tries from Danny Clare, Jack Clifford, Marland Yarde and Tim Swiel secured a winning bonus point. Ben Botica also kicked 10 points from his boot.
Quins picked up a winning bonus point after a 24-13 victory away against London Welsh at the Kasson Stadium on Sunday. Tries from Karl Dickson, Marland Yarde, Kyle Sinckler and the returning from injury Tom Williams, ensured Quins opened up 2015 with all five points.
Harlequins picked up a losing bonus point, after suffering a 30-25 defeat to Northampton at a sold out Twickenham on Saturday.
Despite an early George Lowe try, Quins trailed Saints by 13-8 at half-time. Further tries from Jack Clifford and Sam Twomey ensured Saints had to hang on for a narrow win in front of a crowd of 82,000.
HARLEQUINS 15 NEWCASTLE FALCONS 7
Attendance: 13, 658
Aviva Premiership Saturday 20th December 2014
Peter Moore at the Stoop
15 points, and a 100 per cent kicking record from Fly-Half Tim Swiel, ensured Harlequins got back to winning ways at the expense of Newcastle in a hard thought victory at the Stoop.
Harlequins made six changes to the side that narrowly lost to Leinster in the European Rugby Cup last Saturday.
Mark Lambert, Joe Gray and Kyle Sinckler started in the front row. In the back row Joe Trayfoot, Jack Clifford and James Chisholm, making his first Premiership start, were named in the starting 15. Luke Wallace missed out, having broken his hand last weekend, he is expected to be side-lined for up to six to eight weeks. George Robson captained the side, with Tim Swiel making his first premiership start in place of the injured Nick Evans.
Quins, without the services of Chris Robshaw, Nick Easter, Joe Marler and Evans, did have available Danny Care on the replacements bench, alongside the returning Ugo Monye.
Harequins opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Newcastle were penalised for not releasing. Tim Swiel, from just outside the 22 slotted over the posts. Falcons had a chance to level proceedings after 25 minutes when Quins were penalised for being offside. Juan Pablo Socino stepped up to take the penalty, but his effort sailed well wide of the posts. Newcastle got themselves on the board with the last play of the half when Alex Tuilagi was bundled over the line. Referee Matthew Carley went upstairs to the TMO as he felt that there may have been a knock on, after a short wait the TMO decided that the try was fine. Juan Pablo Socino kicked the extras, as the visitors went into the break 7-3 up.
Quins came within one point of Newcastle in the 56th minute, after a blistering run from Hopper was halted. The home side were awarded a penalty, from 35 yards out Swiel successfully converted. Four minutes later Quins regained the lead after they were awarded a penalty. From the same spot Swiel’s effort was successful. The South African made it four from four to give Quins a slender four point lead with 16 minutes to go. Newcastle’s indiscipline was to prove costly once again as Swiel kicked another penalty to give the home side an eight point cushion. With time running out Quins successfully defended anything that the Falcons threw at them to run out deserved winners, especially on their second half performance.
Harlequins have announced the signing of Australian International James Horwill from Queensland Rugby. The Lock will join Quins on a three year deal after following the conclusion of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The 30 year-old has played 58 times for Australia, and has made over 100 appearances for Queensland Reds.
Despite being 11-0 down at half time, Quins responded with a superb second half performance, at one time being 13-11 up, to narrowly loose to a late penalty against Leinster in Dublin on Saturday evening in the European Champions Pool. A Mike Brown try and eight points from Tim Swiel were Quins points scorers. The one big consolation for Quins is they did pick up a loosing bonus point, as Quins maintained their position at the top of the pool.
Harlequins maintained their grip at the top of their European Champions Cup Pool, after a hard earned 24-18 victory against previously unbeaten Leinster at the Stoop on Sunday.
Two second half tries from Nick Easter and Aseli Tikoirotuma ensured Quins remain unbeaten in the competition.
Harlequins have signed Tito Tebaldi from Ospreys for the remainder of the season. The 27 year old scrum half has played 20 tests for Italy. He joined the Welsh side from Zebre ahead of the 2013/14 season. Tebaldi, will replace Sam Stuart in the squad, who has left for personal reasons.
HARLEQUINS 12 SALE SHARKS 16
Aviva Premiership Friday 21st November 2014
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Sale completed their first victory at the Stoop since 2008, and their first away victory in the Aviva Premiership since Easter, when they won at Exeter, after a late Dan Braid try clinched a tight contest.
Quins made one change to the side that defeated Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm a week ago. Tom Casson coming into the starting 15 at inside centre for George Lowe, who was being rested. Among the replacements, Danny Care who was released back to Quins from England, was named on the bench, and will re-join the England squad on Sunday evening.
After both sides traded early penalties in the opening five minutes, Nick Evans gave Harlequins the lead with a penalty kick after 16 minutes. Sharks drew level in the 26th minute when Quins were penalised for not releasing. Sharks had a chance to go into the break with their noses in front, but Cipriani’s long range penalty effort from just inside the Quins half drifted wide. With both sides level at the break 6-6.
Danny Care was introduced into the fray in the 52nd minute. A couple of minutes later Quins regained the lead when Sharks were penalised for pulling down the maul. Evans converted, only for Cipriani to pull Sharks level with a penalty kick. The string of penalties continued, with Evans making it four out of four successful kicks to give Quins a three point cushion. The first try of the match came in the 69th minute when Dan Braid wriggled over for the Sharks, Cipriani kicked the extras to give Sale a 16-12 victory, and their first win on the road since Easter.
Harlequins recorded an historic 22-15 victory against Gloucester at Kingsholm on Friday evening. Despite trailing 12-10 at the break, tries from Nick Easter, Luke Wallace and a late Charlie Walker try sealed Quins first win at Gloucester since 1999.
HARLEQUINS 31 NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS 21
LV= Cup Friday 7th November 2014
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins fought back from a 13 points deficit at half-time, to record their opening victory in this season’s competition. Quins kept the visitors pointless in the second 40, as the Dragons lost their discipline, conceding countless penalties.
Quins went into this game, looking for their first win in this seasons Anglo Welsh campaign, after suffering a narrow 25-20 loss to Saracens at Allianz Park on Sunday. The 23 players named by Conor O’Shea were all English qualified and 18 of the side have come through, or are current members of the Quins Academy. Newport Gwent Dragons came into tonight’s game, having won just once in the Guiness Pro 12 League.
Harlequins opened the scoring in the fifth minute when the ball was shipped wide to Ollie Lindsay-Hague who crossed in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed by Tim Swiel, making his starting debut for Quins. The Dragons were quick to respond when Karl Dickson’s box kick was charged down and Jonathan Evans went over, the resulting conversion was missed to leave the score 5-5. The Dragons were awarded a penalty a few minutes later, but Dorian Evan’s effort cannoned of the posts. The visitors kept the pressure on the home side and were rewarded when some weak tackling allowed James Thomas to go over, Dorian Jones kicked the extras to give the Dragons a seven point cushion. From the restart Quins were awarded a penalty, which Swiel converted. Two successful long range penalty kicks from the boot of Dorian Jones stretched the Dragons lead to 10 points. With two minutes to go in the half Quins were penalised for hands in the ruck, Jones stepped up to make it another successful kick to give the Dragons a 21-8 score line at half time.
A Swiel penalty within three minutes of the restart reduced the deficit to 11 points. In the 48th minute Dragons were reduced to 14 men when Elliott Dee saw yellow. A minute later Quins took advantage of the one man advantage when a driving mall saw James Chisholm go over, Swiel kicked the extras to close the gap to just three points. Shortly afterwards Quins were awarded a penalty which Swiel converted to bring Quins level. Another Swiel successful penalty gave Harlequins the lead for the first time in the match. The yellow card of Dee was to prove costly for the visitors, with Quins scoring 13 points in the ten minute spell. Quins come back was complete in the 71st minute following a line out and a huge driving mall Chisholm went over for his second try of the game to give Quins a ten point lead, which they never let slip, as the home side registered their first victory in this seasons competition.
Harlequins opened up their LV=Cup campaign with a narrow 25-20 loss to Saracens at Allianz Park on Sunday.
Despite trailing 15-3 at the break. Quins produced a spirited second half performance to run the home side close. Mark Lambert and Charlie Walker crossed for Quins, as they secured a losing bonus point.
Harlequins joined Leinster on eight points at the top of Pool Two in the European Rugby Champions Cup, after a 23-16 victory at Adams Park against London rivals Wasps.
A Charlie Matthews try and a penalty try along with 13 points from Nick Evans secured the win for Quins.
HARLEQUINS 25 CASTRES OLYMPIQUE 9
European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 2 Friday 17th October 2014
Peter Moore at The Stoop
Quins, who had never beaten Castres in four previous encounters with the French side, opened the European Champions Cup tournament with an opening win in their pool, thanks to 20 points from Nick Evans and a try from Danny Care.
The French side got the first points on the board in the sixth minute when Quins were penalised and up stepped Rory Kockott to kick a penalty over the posts. In the 24th minute Marland Yarde almost went over from a cross field kick, but advantage was played. Quins were awarded a penalty which Nick Evans kicked over the posts to bring the scores level. Despite Quins pressure throughout the rest of the first 40 minutes, Castres held firm with both teams level at the break 3-3.
Within four minutes of the restart, Quins got their noses in front with an Evans penalty after Castres were penalised for pulling down an opponent. Castres soon levelled when Quins were penalised for collapsing at the scrum. Kockott made it two out of two with the game nicely poised. Another penalty conceded at the scrum, this time by the visitors gave Evans a chance to increase Quins lead, he duly slotted over to give the home side a slender three point advantage. Quins stretched this to six in the 61st minute when Evans slotted over from under the posts. Evans was instrumental with the first try of the game with a brilliant chip and chase which Danny Care latched on to. After Referee Nigel Owens went upstairs, the try was awarded. Evans kicked the extras and Quins led 19-6. Knockott got a penalty for the visitors to reduce the deficit, only for the French side once again to collapse at the scrum, which allowed Evans to kick his fifth penalty kick of the night. Another long range effort from Evans stretched the home sides’ advantage to 16 points and made sure Harlequins opened their European Rugby Champions Cup campaign with a win.
Harlequins suffered a 22-16 defeat to Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Friday. A Karl Dickson try and three penalties and a conversion from Nick Evans were the Quins points scorers.
HARLEQUINS 52 LONDON WELSH 0
Aviva Premiership Saturday 4th October 2014
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins inflicted more pain on London Welshs’ disastrous start to the season, after steamrolling over the exiles with seven tries and in so doing record their highest ever win in the Premiership.
Harlequins made four changes to the side that were defeated in the West Country last Sunday by the Exeter Chiefs. Nick Evans, returned from injury with Tom Casson making his first appearance of the season. Matt Hopper came into the starting 15 along with Joe Gray at Hooker.
The Exiles turned up at the Stoop having lost their first four matches in the Premiership, in so doing conceding 197 points. In all of the four Premiership matches Welsh have been involved in, they have leaked at least 40 points in every game.
Harlequins got the first points on the board after three minutes when Mike Brown went over for his 50th Premiership try, after good work from Tom Casson and Nick Evans. The Fly-Half kicked the extras as Quins opened up an early lead. In the 12th minute Quins went over again as Danny Care ran through the middle untouched, after a pass from Aseli Tikoirotuma. Evans converted to give Quins a 14-0 lead. Evans made it 3 from 3 as Quins were awarded a penalty, to stretch their advantage to 17 points at the break.
Within 30 seconds of the restart Quins grabbed their third try of the afternoon when Brown passed to Marland Yarde who crossed. Evans kicked the extras to extend the lead by 24 points. Harlequins got their deserved bonus point try when Marland Yarde went over following Casson’s pass. Evans kept up his one hundred per cent kicking record to make the score 31-0.
The exiles were reduced to 14 men when replacement Rob Lewis was shown a yellow card for a high tackle. Quins were awarded a penalty try. Evans made it 6 out of 6 kicks as Quins led 38-0. Four minutes later Brown chipped for Dickson to run on to a score over the white line for Quins sixth try of the game. Once again the reliable boot of Evans kicked the extras. Yarde grabbed his second try of the afternoon, with just two minutes remaining, going over in the corner. Evans made it a 17 points haul for the afternoon as the home side comprehensively outplayed the exiles, running in seven tries, with Nick Evans kicking 17 points, and in so doing condemning London Welsh to their fifth straight defeat of the campaign.
Harlequins suffered a 36-13 defeat at the hands of the Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park on Sunday. Ben Botica kicked eight points with Aseli Tikoirotuma getting his first try for Quins.
HARLEQUINS 26 WASPS 23
Aviva Premiership. Saturday 20th September 2014
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins bounced back from the disappointing result against Saracens, to edge a pulsating game at the Stoop on Saturday. Harlequins had to do it the hard way, coming from 13-9 down at half time. Two tries in the opening ten minutes of the second half gave Quins the advantage, which they held on to record their second win of the season.
Harlequins made four changes to the side that had lost heavily to Saracens last Friday. Fijian International Summer signing Aseli Tikoirotuma making his Quins debut on the wing. Ben Botica came into the side in place of the injured Nick Evans, who is expected to be out for approximately two weeks, Harry Sloan in for Matt Hopper, who has a hand injury and Dave Ward started in the 15 named by Quins.
Quins started the brighter of the sides in the opening 15 minutes, but it Wasps who put the first points on the board when Tom Varndell went on a run and offloaded to Elliott Daly who burst through the Quins back line to offload the ball to Guy Thompson who crossed over. Fly-Half Andy Goode failed to convert as the visitors held an early lead. Quins responded with two Ben Botica penalties to reduce the gap to a single point, only for Goode to wrestle the lead back for Wasps with a long range penalty. The fly-half missed a 35 yard penalty, but two minutes later Quins were penalised for not releasing and this time Goode made no mistake to give Wasps a 13-6 lead. On the stroke of half time a penalty from Botica dragged Quins back into the contest, as they went into the break 13-9 down.
Harlequins emerged from the tunnel and were on the front foot straight after the restart. Danny Care dummied, then chipped the ball over the Wasps defence a few metres out. Christian Wade fumbled the ball and Chris Robshaw pounced. After a few minutes consultation with the TMO, Referee JP Doyle awarded the try, Botica kicked the extras and Quins led for the first time in the game. Two minutes later the lead was extended when Botica chipped the ball over the line. Kyran Myall tripped Botica in the build up to the play and was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes. Botica’s conversion extended the lead by 10 points. In the 56th minute Danny Care scored a drop goal to give Quins a healthy 26-13 score, only for Wasps to respond when Varndell went over, Goode missed the conversion to leave the score 26-18. With four minutes remaining Quins were reduced to 14 men when Charlie Matthews was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock on. Wasps kicked for touch and the resulting driving maul saw replacement Thomas Young go over. Goode missed the conversion with Quins holding a narrow three point lead. The home side ran down the clock and managed to hold on to the lead to register their first home victory at the Stoop this season.
Harlequins v Saracens – A semi-final repeat
0 39 Debbie Knight at the Stoop
The joys of my new work pattern, not working on a Friday, means Friday night rugby is far more do’able. Harlequins is a fixture I was always likely to make as I tend to spend a fair amount of time at the Stoop during the season, but a nice leisurely drive makes the whole thing so much better! Dinner in the Marriot hotel before the battle commenced was a very pleasant interlude especially as I was joined by my lovely Quins friends Sue and Henry. We had a chat about the previous weekend and all felt that neither team had shone in spite of both coming away with the points. I’d been asked by the sports magazine to make a prediction and went with ‘a narrow victory for Saracens’ what did I know?!?
Harlequins emerged to a great fanfare, it has to be said their fans know how to create an atmosphere. Nick Evans kicked off and the ball was received by ex Quin David Strettle; Richard Wigglesworth box kicked the ball to touch for the 1st lineout. George Robson took the ball cleanly and the Quins pack rolled forward well, their efforts came to nothing as the ball was knocked on in midfield. The scrum which was a bit of a messy affair all evening rose up and Saracens were awarded a penalty. The whistle went the way of the home team next as the ball was hit above the head of Wigglesworth from the lineout putting Saracens under pressure; they held the ball and were penalised. Quins made a mess of their own lineout giving momentum back to Saracens; but Jackson Wray knocked on as play progressed. The opening salvo had been a catalogue of errors! Ollie Lindsay-Haugue showed his pace and his ‘skip’ (more of that later) as Quins attacked but Chris Ashton managed to grab hold of his shirt to allow his captain Alistair Hargreaves to tackle him.
There was a moment of controversy as Mike Brown returned a kick from Chris Ashton; looking at the replay I think the Quins fans and Brown had reason to be aggrieved. Ashton was leaping for the ball but it did look as if he jumped into Brown, one we’ll hear about more I feel. Saracens attacked from their lineout with Jamie George combining well with his line, Chris Ashton felt the full force of an immense tackle by Kyle Sinckler. Sinckler failed to roll away however and Charlie Hodgson took his 1st penalty kick of the game to put Saracens in the lead. Quins won the ball from the kick off as Evans kicked short, but the error count continued as Danny Care threw a high pass above Jordan Turner-Hall’s head – knock on. The messy scrum continued and Quins turned over possession; we had several repeats until eventually the ball emerged only to be knocked on again by Turner Hall. Play continued and Charlie Hodgson kicked on, Mike Brown who shines no matter what else is happening around him took the ball well evading the 1st tackle; David Strettle caught him but failed to roll away.
Nick Evans gave Saracens a good attacking position as he kicked the ball straight out; we saw some great running rugby by Saracens with Strettle and Wigglesworth combing down the right wing; a try looked a certainty as Duncan Taylor ran through but Mike Brown put in an immense tackle knocking the ball from his hands. Again however the great work was undone as Quins were penalised in the scrum; Hodgson added another 3 points. The 1st try of the game came from Charge Down Charlie; Nick Evans was slow to get his kick away from a Quins scrum; Hodgson was very aware of that fact and charged the ball down to run in for a try under the posts. I must apologise again for shouting at the top of my voice as he did so. Not quite cricket when I was sitting amongst Quins season ticket holders! Danny Care eschewed the opportunity for Quins to get 3 points on the board as they were awarded a penalty, choosing to take a quick tap; the ball was however knocked on by Marland Yarde. Saracens played on with Alex Goode putting in a big kick up field, Lindsay-Haugue got to the ball first but held on as he was tackled; a card wouldn’t have been unreasonable! The kick was an easy one for Hodgson and he took the lead to 16 points.
The final 9 minutes of the half saw a series of penalties given away by Saracens, and again it has to be said a ‘team’ yellow wouldn’t have been a surprise but Mr Barnes chose to talk to Alistair Hargreaves and warn instead. Nick Evans took a kick at the posts form one of those penalties but missed his mark. Quins chose to kick to touch and had a number of line outs all of which came to nothing. We had a touch of handbags as George Kruis came through the middle of a ruck and was cleared out himself then held by Nick Easter; Billy Vunipola came from nowhere to free his man; another possible yellow moment. An 8 or 9 minute spell where the home team had great field position and ball possession but failed to score saw them go in at half time with a 16 point deficit. Poor Kieran Longbottom was the man whi had the BT Sport mic shoved in his face as he was leaving the field; it never ceases to amaze me that this happens as a man is running off after a hard 40 minutes of rugby!
Nick Evans had taken a knock just before half time and didn’t emerge for the 2nd half; Ben Bottica took his place. Quins started the half with intensity; Joe Marler put in a huge tackle on Jackson Wray to put Saracens under pressure, then an error by Richard Wigglesworth put his team under pressure. That pressure intensified when Charlie Hodgson was given a 10 minute rest in the bin after he reached a hand out to ‘deliberately’ knock on. A harsh card for an instinctive move, but rules are rules. Ben Bottica took the kick, but it hit the posts and Quins remained on nil. George Kruis and Alistair Hargreaves made a schoolboy error as they both jumped for the same ball kicked on by Danny Care; result? A knock on. More hope for the home fans as Saracens were penalised in the scrum, could there be a comeback on the cards? Now I’m going to go back to Mr Lindsay-Haugue and his skip; Quins had a great attacking opportunity spreading the ball across the field, it made its way to the winger, it seems that he can’t simply use his acceleration and run at pace he has to skip every time; that for me slows him down giving the defence a greater chance of getting to him. That proved to be the case and another penalty was awarded to Saracens. The next penalty given away in the lineout was in kicking territory and Alex Goode kicked the 3 points in Hodgson’s absence.
Quins took a blow with Charlie Walker who had replaced Matt Hopper went off injured; he was replaced by Jack Clifford; a flanker! Not quite what you’d want with another 30 minutes on the clock. Bottica put a good kick in and Quins won the ball from the lineout driving forward well, great work by Hargreaves saw the put in awarded to Saracens however as the maul failed. Alex Goode took the ball from Wigglesworth and it has to be said put in a horror kick to keep the pressure on his team. Billy Vunipola was penalised for coming in at the side of the maul; Quins kicked to touch again; Luke Wallace went very close before Alistair Hargreaves paid the price for doing as Mr Barnes said in playing on; he was sent to the bin in what may have been a team card but was clearly perturbed! Another short spell of handbags ensued as Danny Care looked to take on Billy Vunipola; something of a mismatch. Quins would surely score and Marland Yarde went close; it did look as if another card might be brandished to Saracens but the yellow remained in Mr Barnes’ pocket. Another kick to touch, another lineout won by Quins, another lost ball, this time by Sinckler. That felt like the spell when Quins should have scored but the dropped ball allowed Saracens to clear their lines and the nil remained. The ball had hardly been in the Quins half for the 1st 20 minutes of the half, but another penalty awarded another 3 points for the visitors after Quins pulled the maul down after a lineout. 2 visits to the Quins half and 2 scores for the visitors.
Another charge down, this time by Brad Barritt nearly saw me yelling again, but he took a moment to gather the ball and try saver Mike Brown appeared form nowhere to make another try saving tackle. Rob Buchanan who had only just come on to the pitch was sent straight back to his seat as he went off his feet; Mike Brown made the point that Barritt held onto the ball, a fair point I’d say. However Hodgson added to his tally and stretched the lead to 25 points. It could have been argued that a scrum in front of the posts in a bid to score the try and work towards a bonus point position may have been a better move. Saracens did score a try soon after; a try that is likely to go down as one of the easiest Chris Ashton will score this season. Quins had been held after making a concerted attack, but the ball was lost in midfield after another huge defensive effort by Saracens. The ball was kicked forward by Duncan Taylor, it should really have been no problem for Marland Yarde covering back; Ashton came from behind Yarde and got to the ball first to score. Yarde won’t want to look back on his virtual stroll to the line, my notes taken at the game actually say ‘Ashton scored a ridiculous try’! Owen Farrell on for Hodgson converted the try. Quins evening was further ruined by a ‘forwards’ try claimed by Will Fraser after they rolled forward after a lineout. That team spirit was never as obvious as at that moment, these men are genuinely happy for each other when things go right. Farrell took the score to Harlequins 0 Saracens 39. The bonus point try wasn’t to be but the bus ride home north of the river will have been a joyous one. For Harlequins to be kept to zero at home will have been a very big blow, they have lots of work to put in before their next game! It’s a shame that so many Quins fans left the ground before the end of the game; Mike Brown at the very least deserved to be clapped off by his home fans.
London Irish v Harlequins – Double Header Part Two
15 20 Debbie Knight at Twickenham
The second game of the afternoon saw London Irish take the home team dressing room; their opposition Harlequins; close neighbours to the big stadium refuse to concede a home tie. Every year it never ceases to amaze me that fans watch their own team then leave; huge swathes of the seats filled by Saracens and Wasps fans stood empty which is a real shame. Shane Geraghty started proceedings; his kick being well chased; the first lineout went the way of London Irish after a long kick by Nick Evans. Harlequins were awarded an early penalty as Dan Leo went offside. Nick Evans, the record points scorer at 87 points in 6 appearances at the Double Header, missed the chance to put points on the board. Quins were awarded a further 2 penalties; Evans choosing to kick the 2nd, he was unlikely to miss 2 in a row, Quins took the lead. London Irish had to make a substitution as Evans was preparing for the kick; Tom Homer left the field having only played 7 minutes; his leg was heavily bandaged I can only imagine they were taking a risk in fielding him. Harlequins took full advantage of the territory afforded to them by numerous Irish penalties; Ugo Monye went in to score after the ball had been passed across the line, with Mike Brown flicking the ball into his hands. Brown was clearly starting where he left off from the previous season. Nick Evans added the extras from the touchline.
The officials were in good contact during the opening quarter and Irish were awarded a penalty as the Touch Judge informed the referee that Luke Wallace had transgressed in the scrum. The opportunity was thrown away as the ball was knocked on; then to compound matters Quins were awarded a penalty for a high tackle. Followed by a further penalty for using hands on the floor; Quins fans must have wondered if Nick Evans had his kicking boots on as he missed the kick. After further pressure from Quins the home team were awarded a penalty from the scrum allowing them to clear their lines. Irish attacked but knocked on. Mike Brown fell as Quins attacked taking an opposition player out as he did. George Robson took George Skivington out in the air to see another penalty awarded. Shane Geraghty kicked and scored putting 3 points on the board for London Irish. However moments later Eamonn Sheridan in effect took a card for the team, after a series of penalties against Irish he was deemed to have played the ball on the ground and sent to the bin for a 10 minute breather. Nick Evans converted the resutling penalty.
London Irish were awarded a penalty as Charlie Matthews came in at the side of the ruck; Shane Geraghty converted to close the gap to 7 points and keep things even while they were a man down. That wasn’t to remain as the speedy Ollie Lindsay-Hague stormed down his wing to score after a well timed pass by Nick Easter; Nick Evans had an easy task to add the extras. Marland Yarde was given a chance to show his pace against his replacement James Short as Danny Care put in a kick after an Irish knock on; Short was 1st to the ball and Irish won a penalty as the Quins attackers failed to roll away. We saw a close up of new Quins captain as the scrum was being set, I can’t quite decide if he looks scarier when he smiles or not! He’s going to be a very interesting leader this season I imagine! London Irish were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time way within their own half; Shane Geraghty kicked the ball and it bounced off the posts! Well worth a go! The teams left the field; I imagine London Irish will have rued the number of penalties they gave away in the 1st half; their dressing room would have been interesting!
The 2nd half started with Topsy Ojo having a chance to show his heels, Lindsay-Hague tackled him well. However a very poor tackle moments later by Quins captain Joe Marler; he lifted David Paice above the horizontal; saw him sent to the bin. It’ll be interesting to see how many minutes Marler, in his new role; spends in the bin this season; it can never be a good thing for the captain to be absent. Shane Geraghty added 3 points to his tally. Geraghty committed a school boy error in missing touch with the next penalty awarded. Rather than attacking in the Quins half Irish found themselves facing another kick from Nick Evans as they gave away yet another penalty themselves; the kick however went wide of the posts. It was good to hear the interaction between the officials; Greg Garner is clearly a proactive referee; Matt Hopper was deemed to have knocked on by the touch judge as Irish kicked the ball away, the referee had initially ruled the ball knocked back. We had a spell of errors; which helped Quins absorb the loss of their captain for 10 minutes, but didn’t really entertain the crowd it has to be said. Kyle Sinckler flew into a tackle, very nearly taking David Paice’s head off. There was really no option than to see yellow again for Quins; I really can’t understand why there were boo’s and yells of disapproval? Joe Marler still in the bin had a good chat with Sinckler before he went back to await his return; that was good to see. London Irish attacked against the 13 men of Quins but lost the ball. The men in green had another concerted attack but couldn’t find the space to score in spite of the numerical advantage. They were awarded a penalty as Quins went offside and Geraghty kicked the 3 points; but with an 11 point gap a try against 13 men would have been a much better option.
London Irish attacked through James Short; he was well tackled but Mike Brown who really is one of the best players in the Premiership in my opinion, showed that hint of petulance that can creep into his game, there was no reaction so no price to pay. Quins were awarded a penalty in the Irish half and chose to kick to touch as they returned to their full compliment; the ball was knocked on but we were back to 15 apiece. Quins were penalised in the scrum allowing Irish to clear their lines. Irish were awarded a scrum after Mike Brown took a high ball, Quins took the ball to the ground; a penalty followed after a Quins player went in at the side after a scruffy scrum. Geraghty scored the 3 points, closing the gap to 5 points. With 11 minutes and one score in it, we were treated to a Mexican wave again – bah humbug! Irish were awarded a penalty as Quins attacked, but messed up their lineout, giving Quins a chance to attack. They got possession back but Tom Fowlie dropped the ball as it came across the line to him. They did however win a penalty from the resulting scrum; were we going to see a late turn about in the game? Not from that move as Irish went off their feet in the ruck giving Quins a penalty and a lineout in the Irish half. Quins surged forward in attack after Mike Brown made a break; he threw a wild pass to Danny Care that landed at his feet; Care kicked the ball on and was held back in the process, the ball was knocked on in what looked like a fairly deliberate manner as he was pulled back, the ball was eventually touched down by a Quin but the TMO couldn’t fail to miss the knock on and a scrum was awarded to Irish. Quins however pushed in the scrum, totally dominating and were awarded a penalty; Nick Evans missed what should have been an easy 3 points. I’d say it’s unusual for him to play the full 80 minutes, perhaps that miss was an indication that he shouldn’t have. London Irish were however running out of time and a further penalty gave Quins more possession. Irish had one final chance but had to play from within their own 22, they hadn’t looked like scoring a try throughout the game and it wasn’t to be in the final moments. The score finished on London Irish 15 Harlequins 20 – a win for the away team.
In common with the teams playing in the 1st of the double header games, I imagine both the London Irish and Harlequins training grounds will be busy places in the coming week. Harlequins face Saracens in the next round at home; London Irish face a long journey to Newcastle. The Northampton Saints players who chose to watch both games won’t have seen too much to worry them as yet.
Harlequins have been drawn alongside Wasps, Leinster and Castres in Pool 2 of the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup.
Harlequins have announced that Joe Marler has been named Captain of Quins ahead of the new season, taking over from Chris Robshaw.
Harlequins will open their Aviva Premiership campaign against London Irish at Twickenham on Saturday 6th September. Quins next opponents will be Saracens on Friday 12th September at the Stoop. Eight days later London Wasps will be the visitors to the Stoop. Newly promoted back to the Premiership London Welsh visit the Stoop in October, while Quins opponents over the Chrismas period will be the Northampton Saints on Saturday 27th December, which will be played at Twickenham. Harlequins final Premiership game will be against Newcastle at Kingston Park on the 16th May.
Harlequins have announced their 2014-15 pre-season fixtures.
On Saturday August 9th, Quins will play FC Grenoble in the second annual Legion Rugby Challenge at Stade Des Alpes Grenoble.
On Saturday August 16th, Harlequins will be entertaining French side Pau at the Stoop. Quins final pre-season game will be against 2014 Pro 12 finalists Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium.
Harlequins have been drawn along with Leinster, Castres and London Wasps in Pool 2 of the brand new competition for next season, the European Rugby Champions Cup.
Fijian International Aseli Tikoirotuma has signed a two year contract with Harlequins.
The 27 year-old Back will join Quins in August from Waikato Chiefs.
Saracens booked their place in the Aviva Premiership final after defeating Harlequins 31-17 at Allianz Park on Saturday. Despite Quins leading 17-10 at half-time, a strong second half from the home side secured the victory. Tries from Mike Brown and Ugo Monye gave Quins some hope, but overall a very strong Sarries side deserved to book their place in the final.
HARLEQUINS 19 BATH RUGBY 16
Aviva Premiership Saturday 10th May 2014
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins sealed their place in the Aviva Premiership semi-finals for the third consecutive season after a nail biting 19-16 victory over Bath at a full house at the Stoop on Saturday.
Nick Evans scored 14 points from his boot, along with a try from Mike Brown. For the West Country men George Ford scored all their 16 points.
Harlequins opened the scoring in the 16th minute when an exquisite long pass from Danny Care found Mike Brown who crossed over in the far corner. Evans kicked the extras as Quins took an early advantage in the game. Bath responded seven minutes later, George Ford scored a fine solo effort, running from just outside the 22 and running through unopposed to score under the posts. The England international then converted to put the visitor’s level.
Quins thought they had restored their lead when Nick Easter went over following a Care offload, only for the TMO to rule that Care’s pass was a forward one. Quins were awarded a penalty in the 31st minute, but Evans effort went wide. The Kiwi made up for the error a few minutes later when his penalty kick went over the posts to give the home side a slight advantage at half-time, leading 10-7.
Bath levelled the game at the start of the second half with a Ford penalty. The visitors were then reduced to 14 men when Matt Banahan was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes for illegally playing the ball, Quins capitalised on the one man advantage with two penalties from Evans to give Quins a 16-10 lead.
A crazy spell of three minutes saw both sides’ trade penalties to keep the home side with a six point advantage. The visitors narrowed the gap to just three following a Ford penalty.
With Quins hanging on to their slender advantage and the time running out, Bath had one final chance to level the game when George Ford tried a drop goal, but his effort went wide. Referee Wayne Barnes blew his whistle, and Quins celebrated a trip to Saracens next Saturday afternoon, for a place in the Aviva Premiership Final at Twickenham on Saturday 31st May.
Harlequins kept alive their hopes of an Aviva Premiership play- off spot alive, as they secured a 30-19 bonus point victory against the Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park on Sunday.
Coming from 23-5 down, a dramatic last ditch try from Tom Guest secured the victory, with Quins needing to beat Bath at the Stoop on Saturday to finish fourth in the league, and secure a semi final play off game against Saracens.
Harlequins bowed out of the Amlin Challenge Cup at the semi-final stage, when they were defeated 18-10 by Northampton Saints at Franklin Gardens on Friday evening.
A Try from Nick Easter and five points from Ben Botica were Quins points scorers.
Harlequins 24 Leicester Tigers 20
Debbie Knight at the Twickenham Stoop
Having watched two decent games of rugby league during the afternoon I headed across London to Twickenham for another visit to the Stoop. The Good Friday match between Quins and Tigers was in its own way a cup final with a home semi final possible for Leicester and a fourth place on the cards for the home team. The choice of date was controversial for those looking at the meaning of the day but not for the near sell out crowd of 14800. Personally? What a great way to spend a bank holiday Friday evening. The referee for the game was Richard Wigglesworth a man who’d had a very controversial game the previous weekend; he was bound to be in for a lot of stick from the crowd!
Tigers had the perfect start as a Quins player in an offside position picked the ball up after it had been knocked on from the start; an easy 3 points for Toby Flood. The TMO was called on early on as Nick Easter and Blaine Scully competed for the same ball in the air; unlike the Jared Payne/Alex Goode ‘incident’ both men left their feet to challenge for the ball; so a penalty to Quins as Easter had taken the ball, but no card. The 14800 crowd were in the majority hoping for a Quins win but it was to be Tigers who added to their lead as Niki Goneva surged towards the line after Ed Slater made the break; he passed to Jordan Crane who slipped the pass to Goneva. The final pass was very flat and had the look of a forward pass; the TMO had a good look but the try was given. It was clear from the reaction of the crowd that they flet they had a better view than the TMO; it never ceases to amuse and amaze me that fans have a better view from a long way away than the officials!
A 10 nil lead for the visitors wasn’t part of the plan for Quins and they closed the gap back with a Nick Evans penalty. A number of games I’ve been to this season have seen me type ‘and the ball was knocked on’ a number of times, and this was to be no exception as we had an error strewn spell. Quins had a good attack when they released the ball from the scrum in spite of Ben Youngs tackling Nick Easter, the ball came out to Sam Smith who made a great pass to Mike Brown; Brown kicked on and Goneva got a hand to the ball in what at first appeared to be a deliberate knock on; the ball in fact went backwards so no card or penalty. I’m now going to be a crowd official; the ref seemed to make a highly dubious decision as Quins were in a very strong position, awarding a penalty to Tigers in spite of the fact that Anthony Allen flew into the ruck from the side and tackled Danny Care without the ball! I was indeed miles away and the ref right there, but, still! The next scoring opportunity came Tigers way as the ref awarded a penalty for offside virtually in front of the posts; my fellow ‘watchers’ and I hadn’t remembered the play going that far over, but an easy 3 points it was for the returning Flood. I’ve mentioned some of the people I sit amongst at Saracens and I have to say I sat behind (I’m so glad I wasn’t in front of) a Quins fan who kept leaping out of his seat at every perceived difficulty or dubious play, he seemed to want a yellow card brandished on a regular basis! I found it amusing on a once off basis but goodness I think it might drive me crazy if I had to witness it regularly!
Quins were awarded a penalty duly converted by Evans to keep the gap at 7 points. An incident happened close to the Quins line that I was seemingly the only one to see as Nick Evans was choke tackled on the floor and pulled right back, a horribly dangerous piece of play to me! Tigers play was error strewn in a spell that saw several penalties awarded against them; Danny Care took a quick one as is his want and Nick Evans kicked a very neat ball for Luke Wallace to run on to. From a distance it looked like a try, but, the hugely strong Manu Tuilagi had got himself under the ball, so, help up. We had several attempts at a legal scrum with the final one resulting in a penalty try being awarded, a tad annoying for Nick Easter who scored just after the whistle was blown! It really does seem that rather than being a method of restarting the game scrums are becoming penalty and penalty try vehicles more and more! The teams went in at half time with the scores even at 13 apiece, a very good comeback by the home team.
The 2nd half started with…… a knock on by Tigers! It did seem that the team who made the fewest errors would win the game. An early Tigers lineout was thrown long straight to a Quin, they then drove well from another lineout but knocked the ball on. Mike Brown who must surely be a contender for Premiership player of the year looked to have scored in the corner after Danny Care kicked through and Blaine Scully fumbled the ball, Brown pounced but the TMO adjudged that Scully redeemed himself by getting his hand on the ball first. Quins did add 3 points with a great Evans kick as they were awarded a penalty from another scrum. We had been graced with a small session of handbags as Flood and Brown fell out, but it all amounted to nothing. The next incident however resulted in 2 yellow cards; Pablo Matera tip tackled Dave Ward, a clear yellow, but George Robson stupidly felt the need to retaliate and was similarly sent from the pitch. I have to say the claps and cheers for him, even though he is an immense player, were misguided for me, his actions lost his team their advantage.
Tigers had taken back the advantage with a Jamie Gibson try in the corner after several penalties were awarded against Quins; the second saw the Quins defence in a state of disarray as Julian Salvi took a quick tap. There were a fair few boos as Flood stepped up to kick but all went quiet I’m pleased to say as he kicked the ball to add the extras. Nick Evans left the pitch and Ben Botica came on in his place. Mike Brown was to get his name on the scorecard with a strong try in the corner after Care had passed to Botica who threw a huge pass to Brown; he had Sam Smith on his outside but backed himself to score. Botica missed the conversion but Quins were ahead 21 to 20. Botica was to have the last say with a great conversion to take the score to Harlequins 24 Leicester 20. A deserved win for the home team, and as a frequent visitor to the Stoop this season I have to say the crowd played their part too, the atmosphere was great! So with 2 games remaining a place in the top 4 is still up for grabs for both of these teams. It’s going to be a very interesting final few weeks!
Harlequins recorded a bonus point win against Sale Sharks in Manchester on Friday evening, with a 27-12 victory.
Tries from Danny Care, Nick Evans, Maurie Fa'asavalu and Sam Smith ensured Quins put the pressure on Bath for the race for fourth spot in the Premiership.
Harlequins booked their place in the Amlin Challenge Cup Semi-Finals, with a 29-6 victory over Stade Francais in Paris on Friday.
Tries from Tim Molenaar and Mike Brown, along with 17 points from the boot of Nick Evans ensured an away tie at Franklin Gardens against Northampton on Friday 25th April.
England prop Joe Marler has commited his future to Quins by signing a deal to stay at the club until at least 2016.
Harlequins returned back to winning ways with a 23-9 victory against London Irish at the Stoop on Saturday. Tries from Mike Brown, Sam Smith and Nick Evans secured the victory. Evans also kicked two penalties and a conversion.
SCARACENS 39 HARLEQUINS 17
Saturday 22nd March 2014
Peter Moore at Wembley Stadium
Harlequins slipped to sixth place in the Aviva Premiership, after suffering a 39-17 loss to Saracens at Wembley in front of a world record crowd of 83, 889
Quins suffered a blow before kick off when Tom Williams and Ben Botica were ruled out and replaced by Louis Grimoldby and Sam Smith.
The home side also suffered a setback within the opening five minutes when David Strettle was stretchered off after taking a nasty knock from Maurie Fa’Asavalu. Sarries got the first points on the board when Chris Ashton intercepted a pass to run fully 60 meters for a try. Owen Farell kicked the extras to give Sarries a 7-0 lead. Quins were awarded a penalty in the 20th minute for illegal scrumaging, Nick Evans put the visitors on the board for the first time in the match. A Farell penalty nudged Saracens seven points ahead, which they increased further when George Kruis went over for Sarries second try. Farell converted from under the posts to give the home side a useful lead. Quins responded straight away when Karl Dickson went over, Evans converted to reduce the deficit to seven points.
Farell kicked another penalty shortly afterwards, and on the stroke of half time the home side increased their advantage when a pass from Evans was intercepted by Farell. The England Fly-Half scored a converted try to give Saracens a 27-10 lead at the break.
Steve Borthwick received a yellow card for pulling a man down at the start of the second period. With Borthwick sinned bin for ten minutes it gave Quins a one man advantage. They quickly took advantage of this when Sam Smith scored a try in the corner, Evans converted to make the score 27-17.
Saracens bonus point try came in the 58th minute when a Brits offload found Jacques Burger who bundled over. Saracens completed their fifth try of the afternoon with the last play of the match, when Marcelo Bosch bundled over. Replacement Charlie Hodgson converted to give Sarries a comprehensive victory, and a return back to the top of the Premiership.
Despite falling 13 points down at one point, Harlequins produced a stunning fightback to grab a 21-20 victory against the Worcester Warriors at the Stoop on Saturday.
Tries from Sam Smith, and Harry Sloane, on his Premiership debut, along with 11 points from Ben Botica sealed victory for Quins.
Rob Buchanan, Tom Casson, Joe Gray, Charlie Mathews and Dave Ward have all signed contract extensions until the end of the 2015/16 season.
Ben Botica has extended his contract until the end of the 2016/17 season.
Harlequins returned from Kingsholm with a losing bonus point, despite suffering a 25-10 defeat. Quins points scorers included Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Dave Ward with tries and 10 points from Ben Botica.
Harlequins have confirmed today (13th February) that back row Tom Guest will be leaving the club at the end of the season to join London Irish. Quins have also announced that Sam Stuart, Sam Twomey, Harry Sloan and Jack Clifford have graduated from the Academy to become senior squad players for the 2014-15 season.
Sam Smith will join Worcester at the end of the season.
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons – A Quin for the day! (Again)
Harlequins 18 Newcastle 14
Debbie Knight at the Stoop
With my team Saracens playing oop North against Sale Sharks I was thrilled to get a text from my lovely friend Sue to ask if I wanted to take her place at the Stoop. There was no hesitation, not only a game of rugby ahead but also an early lunch with Henry, Sue’s very charming husband, a total no brainer! And so after a night of battering winds I set off for Twickenham with more than a little trepidation having listened to a lorry driver talking about high sided vehicles falling over!! Deepest joy! I have to confess I gave the lorries a very wide berth on the M25, I probably looked slightly mad, rather that than squashed I thought! After a very amenable lunch at Patisserie Valerie we walked to the ground. We met Rob Buchanan as we walked across the stand we met Rob Buchanan, Quins sidelined Hooker, he explained his ongoing difficulty with what must have been an excruciating injury! His Pectoral muscles detached from the bone! Oh my word, that doesn’t bear thinking about! Then to add to his woes bone has been growing where bone really shouldn’t be; the less than fun part of being a rugby player. He hopes to be back in action in action by March; maybe just in time to face Saracens!
And so to the game, Quins had played Wasps at home last week and had what I believe was a lucky win after a poor performance. Falcons played Bath away and were beaten 24 to 6. The teams sit at different ends of the league, but were possibly teams lacking in form; with Quins missing their International players. 6 Nations is a tough time for some teams and can cause some upsets; would today be one of them? The weather conditions were such that a free flowing game of rugby would be unlikely. I’ve been impressed with Luke Wallace at each of the games I’ve been to this season and he showed his intent early on as he put in a scary tackle on Rory Clegg after he gathered a pass that had gone behind him. Ben Botica had the first chance of points after Quins were awarded a penalty in the ruck; there was an injured Falcons player in his sight lines as he prepared and a medical man still there when he kicked; that as well as the wind may well have been a factor in the miss. Wallace again showed his enthusiasm as he charged down the kick out.
The next piece of play of note was a great break by Fraser McKenzie the Falcons second row; he raced down the field, but pretty much on his own! The resulting penalty for holding on was an inevitability; the lack of progress and support at times in the first half by Falcons was to prove perplexing. Ben Botica chose to kick to touch after 11 minutes rather than at the posts; a decision that was to be vindicated as the ball was played across the field. Ugo Monye drew in 3 defenders on the left wing and a gap appeared on the right; Ollie Lindsay-Hague showed his turn of pace and ran in to score a well worked try; Botica failed to add the extras. There were a number of penalties given from scrums by Mr Doyle, one frustration of watching games live is that the crowd often have no idea for the reason! That was most certainly the case in this game as the signals were often not clear; several penalties were exchanged midway through the half. Andy Saull seemed to attempt a charge down of a Quins tackle and was further penalised as Quins were moved 10m further up the pitch, bit of a schoolboy error. Falcons were to face a bigger blow as Quins went on an impressive rolling maul; captain Will Welch took a yellow card for the team as the maul was pulled down. The average points scored against 14 men is 7 and this proved to be the case for Quins as Sam Smith ran down the line to touch down in the corner, after much deliberation by the TMO the try was awarded and this time Botica scored a difficult conversion.
Falcons went on the attack again and this time were awarded with a kickable penalty; Rory Clegg, clearly an accomplished kicker stepped up and slotted the ball over the posts to give the away team their first points. Maurie Fa’asavalu, one of my favourite union players, having been a league player I always admired, transgressed with a clumsy rather than nasty high tackle. Ugo Monye however flicked the ball back into the field to ensure Newcastle didn’t gain any advantage. Quins had a further attacking opportunity with Karl Dickson making a great run through and Ollie Lindsay-Hague showing his 7’s credentials; but the half time whistle went and the teams went in Quins 12 Falcons 3.
Now, during half time my thoughts were that Quins could well go on to get a bonus point win; however it soon became plain that Newcastle had other plans; they’d clearly had the game changing half time rant. The Falcons were awarded an early penalty and Alex Tait kicked to touch, they set up a rolling maul from the lineout and once the ball had appeared and had been taken into a ruck Quins were penalised. Rory Clegg was this time given a very easy kick straight in front of the posts, he duly kicked the 3 points closing the gap to 6. Another penalty was awarded after a scrum collapse given as a result of Sam Smith knocking on, Rory Clegg was taught well by his former club; he scored the 3 points. My notes about the next passage of play tell me that it took 17 minutes for Quins to get into the Newcastle half and that nothing was working for them; too many of the men in possession passed rather than back themselves; they also tried to play the ball out of their own half too often, rather than make their opponents attack from their own half. I felt that Ryan Shortland Falcons number 11 put in an illegal tackle as Quins were attacking, there were no arms to be seen; it was right in front of the touch judge, my comment, ‘what are they for?’ Quins were later awarded a penalty but lost any advantage as Fa’asavalu was penalised for crossing. They also lost the advantage of a great run by Nick Easter as he found himself going solo, the inevitable holding on when isolated was penalised, Dickson disagreed and his team were marched m further back. You would imagine professional players got the, not disagreeing with the ref thing!
Newcastle produced their best play, passing the ball across the pitch, Noah Cato’s great run was added to by a burst of speed by Scott Lawson and Alex Tait was able to place the ball over the line. Rory Clegg missed the kick this team but the visitors were ahead for the first time by 2 points. It appeared rather than a bonus point win Quins were facing a loss. However they went on the attack close to the Falcons line, a rolling maul was pulled down and penalised, but no card shown. The yellow card did however come from JP Doyle’s pocket moments later, shown to Lawson, rather than his colleague who leapt over the ruck in a salmon like manner. The kick was an easy one and Botica converted putting his team ahead by a single point with just over 4 minutes remaining. The last kick of the match vanquished all hope for Newcastle as Botica converted a penalty, the game finished Harlequins 18 Newcastle 14, a second week in a row for the Quins fans to be biting their nails to the quick!
A very odd thing happened as the game was ending! A clear blue sky appeared above the ground, anyone could imagine that Spring may actually make an appearance this year! The ground staff had clearly made a great job of looking after the pitch after such dreadful weather; I wonder how many other teams will consider the 4G option for their playing surface. I’ve got a monster weekend of rugby to come; Cardiff on Friday for Wales v France followed by Twickenham on Saturday for England v Ireland; very much hoping for 2 home wins to open up the 6 Nations table. Then on Sunday I’m back to my team – Saracens v Exeter, that’ll be an interesting game, they’re always a hard team to beat with their big strong pack; another home win please!
A Sam Smith try in the 77th minute secured a dramatic win for Harlequins against London Wasps at the Stoop on Sunday. With time running out and with Quins trailing 6-10 up popped the winger to go over and keep Quins in the top four.
Harlequins have signed England International winger Marland Yarde from London Irish. The 21 year old will join Quins for the start of pre-season training in July.
HARLEQUINS 20 LEICESTER TIGERS 6
Match abandoned after 70 minutes due to safety grounds
Saturday 25th January Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins were on course for their first win in this seasons LV=Cup competition, when a freak storm and gale force winds forced some advertising boarding’s onto the pitch. Parts of scaffolding around a control tower in the corner of the ground were also blown onto the pitch, with the spectators safety of paramount importance, Referee Gwyn Morris in conjunction with Harlequins Stadium Manager Joanna Debs, had no alternative but to abandon the game.
The Tigers were first with points on the board when Fly-Half Ryan Lamb kicked a penalty in the fith minute of play. Quins responded eight minutes later with the first try of the game. Karl Dickson passed to Paul Sackey who side stepped a couple of players before running in next to the posts. Botica’s conversion effort hit the posts, but Quins lead 5-3. A worrying sight for Quins fans shortly afterwards was the sight of Tom Williams hobbling off the pitch. The Winger had only just made his return from injury by gaining a place in the starting 15 today.
Quins scored their second try of the afternoon when a driving maul found Maurie Fa’asavalu at the bottom of it as he was pushed over the line, once again Botica missed the conversion as he dragged his effort wide. Both sides traded penalty kicks as Harlequins led at the break 13-6
Harlequins stamped their authority in the game in the 53rd minute when Tom Guest quickly intercepted a pass from lamb and ran half the length of the pitch to score under the posts. Botica converted to increase Quins lead to 14 points.
But with 10 minutes to go the strong wind that had affected the players all afternoon got up to such a point that advertising and scaffolding boards were blown onto the pitch. It was at this point that the Referee made the sensible decision to abandon the game.
Following the game Harlequins put out a statement to say that the tournament organising committee will decide whether the score at the time of abandonment will stand or if the fixture needs to be replayed.
Harlequins booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup, with a 22-20 victory over the Scarlets. Tries from Mike Brown, Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Karl Dickson, along with a late Ben Botica penalty secured the win.
Harlequins v Clermont Auvergne – This time a French Team turned up!
Harlequins 13 Clermont 16
Debbie Knight at the Stoop
With my team playing in sunny France it seemed rude not to make another visit to the Stoop. Harlequins are on their day playing an exciting style of rugby and Clermont Auvergne generally put on a good performance in the Heineken Cup. I set of to my ‘local’ Patisserie Valerie – where one of the waitresses knows there’s rugby on if I’m there! I am a Saracens fan, but must confess to this game being my 5th Quins match in addition to the international games I’m lucky enough to get to. Perhaps my subconscious is telling me Twickenham is where I’ll find the best cakes it’s rude not to pop in to Patisserie Valerie , so a strawberry tart and a hot chocolate set me up very nicely for the match! Walking to the ground with my good friends and staunch Quins fans Henry and Sue it was clear we were going to be part of a decent crowd.
The last French team I watched at the Stoop, Racing Metro, turned up and performed as individuals and lost the game to the team that is Harlequins. Would Clermont be different; I somehow thought so. Quins had a boost with Ugo Monye returning from injury. Whilst Clermont have a mix of French and ‘foreign’ players they have a deal of time put in as a team. What was plain from the start was that the French were definitely going to be winning the singing! Interesting to hear ,as I watch the game again, that the ref John Lacey had played on the wing for Leinster.
Brock James kicked off and of course the returning hero Ugo Monye was under the ball he kicked to touch. Clermont attacked at pace from the lineout and won a penalty in the ruck after a high tackle was missed by the officials, justice as Brock James converted the penalty to put the French team ahead with 2 minutes on the clock. A comment I typed while at the game was that the no 11Naipolioni Nalaga was huge, yet looked fast! It has to be said Sitiveni Sivivatu on the opposing wing was no svelte thing either! Nalaga ran down the wing after the kick off and ran out of space; Dave Ward threw in but not straight; vital to win your own lineouts against a team of such quality. Quins were penalised in the resulting scrum and James cleared the Clermont lines. Dave Ward redeemed himself by turning the ball over in the ruck after Clermont won their lineout.
Quins were to win the next penalty in the scrum as Thomas Domingo was penalised. It really does seem to me that the change in the laws has made no difference whatsoever to the number of scrums needing to be reset as well as the nu,mber of penalties awarded! Nick Evans had a kick at goal as Nathan Hines seemed to forget which side he should be standing as Quins tried to roll a maul forwards; would he have his kicking boots on? For that attempt it appeared not as he missed. Clermont went on the attack seeing Wesley Fofana making a great run through the midfield but the ball was spilled and Luke Wallace made a decent run; he was bulldozed by Jamie Cudmore and threw the ball forward. Fritz Lee playing at no 8 for Clermont made the first of several great runs as he picked the ball up at the base of the scrum; the ball came to James who put in a very sweet kick for Nalanga, who, lucky for Quins dropped the ball. Quins lost the lineout in a very dangerous attacking position for Clermont; Brock James put in a great pass to Fritz Lee whi didn’t seem to be looking at the ball; he knocked on! Quins won a penalty and Evans cleared the ball to the half way line; yet again Quins messed up the lineout as Marler knocked on; Quins however won their next lineout and looked to be in a good attacking position, a poor pass by Evans was however knocked on my Matt Hopper. The first 20 minutes saw Quins making too many basic errors and I always felt they were unlikely to beat a team with such depth if that didn’t improve.
It was to be Brock James who made the next mistake as he missed touch after Clermont won a penalty in the scrum. Mike Brown ran the ball out but Quins lost the ball to another knock on; Clermont went on the attack again but were peanlise din the ruck. Danny Care took a quick penalty and looped a pass across the pitch to Ugo Monye; Chris Robshaw took the pass from Monye and kicked on he was taken out, just as the crowd were getting ready to be outraged they were outraged in a positive way as Danny Care flicked the ball in field to Matt Hopper who ran in to score a great try! Evans converted to take the score to Quins 7 Clermont 3. The next passages of play were complete proof that this game of rugby isn’t for the faint hearted as monster tackles were exchanged! I watch this game week in and week out and the ferocity of the game never ceases to amaze me! Quins benefited from an offside with a penalty in front of the posts which Evans duly converted.
Nick Evans made a great run through as he backed himself; the 2 bright young blond backs, Hopper and Charlie Walker tracking him, as he looked ready to pass Jean-Marcel Buttin tackled him looking to have knocked the ball on; it seems the resulting penalty was given for offside. Evans increased the lead to 10 points with his successful kick. Another Quins error, this time by the usually hugely impressive Mike Brown as he kicked the ball straight out, wasn’t pounced on by the French team as they knocked the ball on yet again. Quins transgressed with some side entry in the middle of the pitch and Brock James kicked to the corner, from where I was sitting it looked like he kicked the ball too far; and watching it on the TV it still looks that way to me! Dave Ward averted the danger with a great steal on the floor however, but Care kicked the ball down the throat of Sivivatu, Aurelian Rougerie messed up letting Quins off the hook. The half time whistle came and saw the home team go into the changing rooms with the score at Quins 13 Clermont 3.
I must confess at this time I was about to rush through the half time analysis until I spotted he who must be watched/listened to Alan Quinlan, irresistible! Quickly moving on to the second half; 10 points against a team like Clermont Auvergne didn’t feel a big enough gap. Those 13 points were to be the only ones scored by the home team. The second half started in the best possible way for the visitors; Mike Brown has been immense this season, he was most certainly the man of the Autumn Internationals for me. However as he went to gather a ball kicked on by Morgan Parra he made a very unusual error, the ball bounced away from him and he seemed to trip as he attempted to change direction. The ball landed perfectly for Naipolioni Nalaga who ran in to score one of the softest tries of his career I should imagine. A real shame for Brown who plays his heart out every time he steps on a rugby pitch. The kick was missed but the 10 point gap was halved. I noted at this time that I thought Quins looked a bit lacklustre, it reminded me of the first half against the Scarlets and that didn’t go at all well.
Evans kicked the ball straight out at the restart adding to the error count; giving the Frenchmen the advantage back immediately. Fritz Lee again ran from the base of the scrum and Clermont took flight; however their knock on count went up as Rougerie failed to take the pass; watching again I’m not so sure he wasn’t tackled before the ball got to him. Another blow came for Quins on 49 minutes as Danny Care hobbled from the pitch; he plays with such speed and flair it can never be a good thing when he has to leave rather than by the choice of the coach. We saw some good attacking rugby in spite of the conditions but the advantage had certainly tipped in the direction of Clermont Auvergene. They were awarded a penalty for coming in at the side by the replacement winger Ollie Lindsay-Hague; Quins were let off the hook as Brock James missed. Quins themselves were awarded a penalty on 68 minutes as Ti’i Paulo came right off his feet in the ruck; the kick was in front of the posts albeit from a decent distance; Nick Evans missed and by some distance.
With 10 minutes on the clock Quins were still leading by 5 points; Dave Ward who was awarded man of the match gave a penalty away after holding on to the ball. James kicked for touch putting his team in a strong position. Clermont went through 8 phases of play driving the ball towards the line; it was clear an overlap had built and Parra passed the ball out; it made its way to Sivivatu who ran over the line to score. Brock James missed the conversion leaving the scores tied with 6 minutes to go. With 4 minutes to go Quins tried to play the ball out of their own half and gave away a penalty, the referee indicated for holding the ball, but it looked to me like Chris Robshaw piled into the ruck from the side too. Brock James made no mistakes with this kick and put the French team ahead for the first time since their initial penalty.
We were in for a very exciting final 3 minutes and Quins were awarded a penalty that could have given them a draw; that of course would have been of no use to them and Evans kicked for the corner. Dave Ward however got his ‘day job’ wrong and his throw was deemed not straight. Game over you would have thought with seconds on the clock; however Ward won the ball against the head amazingly! The dream finish was not to be for Quins as the ball was knocked on; the final whistle went and the French team now march into the quarter finals before the final pool games. I was slightly disappointed with some of the home fans who booed the referee; he had a good game for me.
In my quest for yet more photos with rugby players; it is all about the game I promise! I managed to have a bit of a chat with Nathan Hines; he was clearly conversing in fluent French with the Clermont fans; I asked him how he enjoyed playing in France. He explained that having played at Perpignan for several seasons the transition from Leinster had been an easy one; I was interested in the language situation and it was clear that French was the training and playing language. I can imagine that may be hard for some of the players making the move to France; Nathan is clearly over the moon with the life in France; it may not be the case for all the stars who depart the UK shores.
Harlequins suffered a 23-9 defeat at the hands of the Northampton Saints at Franklin Gardens on Friday. Quins points scorers were Nick Evans with two penalty kicks, and Ben Botica one.
Harlequins v Exeter – The Big Game
Harlequins 22 Exeter 6
Debbie Knight at Twickenham
With my team playing in Worcester the Big Game called – something of a tradition for me now having been to all six! After missing the whole of the first half of the game Saracens won a few years ago I set off early to Twickenham. That meant 3 things – less time to be tearful as my lovely daughter jetted off back to Europe. A pretty easy non M25 run to West London and, of course, an early lunch in the lovely Patisserie Valerie! Rude not to eat strawberry tart when the opportunity presents itself! A quick visit to the England Rugby Store where I was very helpfully told that the shirt I picked up was ‘a lady’s shirt’. Having explained and in fact pointed out that I am actually a lady, I bought said shirt so am now kitted out for my trip to Paris in February! Just ever so slightly excited about seeing England play at the Stade De France!
Back to matters Premiership, the now familiar big crowd for the Big Game made its way into the stadium, several thoughts in my mind. How long would it take the casual rugby fans to start a Mexican Wave and would the game be more entertaining than last years’ game against London Irish. A game which was mildly more thrilling than watching paint dry! We had the standard X Factor singers; turns out these people can actually sing! Not a bad gig in front of a 75K crowd! In spite of a loss at Bath last weekend I was expecting a gritty game against the always huge Chiefs, but a Quins win all the same.
Exeter attacked the ball from the kick off choosing to play the ball out of their own half rather than kick the ball away. That decision proved to be costly however Danny Care took the kicking option after the ball was spilt. Quins hooker Dave Ward spotted a loose ball and dived on it to win the ball on the Exeter line, Joe Marler ran the ball forward again before the ball was thrown across the line to the other side of the field. Nick Evans was the grateful recipient and ran towards the posts to score the try in his 100th Premiership game; he promptly converted the try to put his team ahead by 7 points with less than 4 minutes on the clock.
Exeter impressed with their attacking game, Dave Ewers at No 8 showing great intent as he did throughout the game. Matt Hopper who lifted Jason Shoemark in the tackle and dropped him very unceremoniously, the result was a penalty with no added yellow, possibly a lucky break for the Quin. Gareth Steenson converted the penalty to put some points on the board for the visitors. A long throw in straight to Danny Care saw Quins go very close to scoring but they gave a penalty under the posts as the ball was held in. Harlequins kept possession of the ball as their backs showed their class, they were awarded with a very kickable penalty which amazingly Nick Evans missed on 18 minutes. Danny Care provided another opportunity by feinting a pick up of the ball; Tom Johnson went through the middle to tackle him without the ball; this time? Evans missed again. Dropping the ball short of the posts.
With 20 minutes on the clock Quins seemed to have had a lot of possession for little reward. They looked certain to score as Mike Brown made a great run through with Charlie Walker on his shoulder; a pass would’ve seen the bright young winger score in the corner. Bizarrely the pass didn’t come, an unusual error by Brown. Quins continued to attack but gave a penalty away in the ruck allowing Steenson to clear the ball. Exeter had a good crack at attacking with Ewers again making a great run; he held the ball however losing the advantage gained. Harlequins’ second try came from a truly wonderful passage of play as initially Nick Easter, Dave Ward and Chris Robshaw combined to drive the ball forward; the ball went out to the backs who passed the ball the width of the pitch with Matt Hopper passing to Charlie Walker who ran in to score. The tackle made on Hopper as he passed the ball was reviewed at the request of the referee J P Doyle; Jack Knowle was adjudged to have raised Hopper above the horizontal and it was deemed to be a yellow card offence. I was hoping to see good things from Knowle but this was to prove to be the ‘highlight’ of his game. From an Exeter perspective that may have been an unfair yellow considering the earlier tackle from Hopper. Evans again missed his kick. 12 points for Quins didn’t feel a big return for the possession they’d had.
With 90 seconds on the clock and a man advantage Exeter won a lineout after Mike Brown had cleared the Quins line; the ball was turned over by the ‘home’ team as Dave Ward ripped the ball away. Danny Care ran through after picking the ball up and spotting some space. He raced towards the posts with Mike Brown on his shoulder; he provided a gift of a try for the full back who touched down under the posts. Nick Evans slotted the ball over the posts to see the teams run in with the scores at Quins 19 Exeter 3.
Now I’m going to do an unusual thing for a match report and say hardly anything about the second half. The dreaded Mexican Waves started with only 11 minutes of the half gone; so there was one question answered. And the rugby? Yep it was dull with a capital D; both teams scored a penalty – that’s about all I want to say! It will never cease to amaze me that die hard union fans tell me how boring rugby league is. In 18 years of watching the ‘other’ code I can honestly say I’ve never watched a game or half as boring as the odd half of union can be. I can only imagine the Worcester v Saracens scoreless second half was the same! My next live game involves a trip to Gloucester, a place I’ve never been to watch rugby, I’m hoping both teams play with intensity for the whole 80 minutes!
Harlequins v Racing Metro – A team v individual superstars
Harlequins 17 Racing Metro 3
Debbie Knight at the Twickenham Stoop
My second Heineken Cup game of the weekend took me to a very wet and windy Twickenham; thanks to the unlucky work pattern of mad Quins fan (not mad as such, just mad about her team) Sue. It was rude not to start the day with Henry, Sue’s husband, at the lovely Patisserie Valerie in the High Street and to welcome the French to town manage to drop Pain du Chocolat all over me! If anyone knows how to eat French pastries without that happening do please share! After a very convivial and leisurely breakfast we strolled to the Stoop.
Harlequins at home were looking to ‘do the double’ over their French counterparts having beaten them away with the result at Racing Metro 8 Harlequins 32! This was one of the shock results of the previous weekend. My last visit to the Stoop for a Heineken Cup game saw a lacklustre Quins team beaten soundly by Scarlets would they be able to beat the superstars again? And superstars a plenty emerged onto the pitch as Racing ran onto the pitch, to name a few; Jonny Sexton, Jamie Roberts, Dan Lydiate, Mike Phillips and the swoon making Juan Martin Hernandez (sorry to behave like a girl but it just has to be done at times!). Quins themselves aren’t short of England internationals but they also have a fair few injuries in key positions so started with some bright young things.
Jonny Sexton had the first shot at points after Mike Brown held the ball after taking a great catch – he’d been pounded by 3 Racing players who were up on him very quickly. I’m watching the match again as I write this and the commentators were clearly convinced the points would go back to France via a backlash for the loss the week before. Jonny, he of the Lions wonder boot missed the posts on this occasion.
Quins moved into the Racing half after defending a French attack with Nick Evans spotted the gap and kicking to the corner for a lineout. Racing won the ball and then a penalty, as Dave Ward went offside, to clear their lines. The resulting lineout wasn’t straight handing the advantage straight back to Quins. Danny Care kicked a ball forward for Mike Brown who was pulled and pushed by Adrien Plante, Brown who has a bit of an edge in his game was also bundled into by Hernandez so we had our first show of handbags for the day. Nick Evans, who when he has his kicking boots on is as good a kicker as any converted the resulting penalty to put the home team ahead.
Quins found themselves in a great position after first Hernandez then Virimi Vakatawa knocked the ball over the dead ball line; the home team had a clear advantage in the scrum and won a penalty again converted by Evans. An uncharacteristic mistake by Mike Brown saw Racing awarded a lineout deep in the Quins half. Racing were in a srong position and won the ball, however a moment of madness by prop Davit Khinchagishili involving some up close and personal attention for Joe Marler by way of a punch saw him sin binned. I thought at the time a red card should have been brandished and having seen it again I still think as much, however it was a mere yellow.
A weird set of events happened next as Mike Brown very clearly knocked on in the middle of the field, all the officials seemed to have missed the fact and Nick Evans ran in to score. Many video ref moments later they all seemed to spot the fact, no try! The next 10 minutes were really all about Quins as they pressed to take advantage of the extra man. They posted 3 points after being awarded a penalty at a scrum on the Racing line. As much as the Quins pack didn’t turn up for the Scarlets game they were to a man very impressive through the whole game, Luke Wallace in particular put in a huge performance, they certainly seemed to want the game more than the men from France. The home team were really superior in every aspect of the game in the first half and they were rewarded with a try on half time as Charlie Walker ran through to score a great 5 points. Nick Evans missed the kick and Quins went in 14 to nil leaders.
Nick Evans had been injured in the first 20 minutes of the first half and didn’t reappear for the second; Ben Botica came on in his place. There was another weird moment in the half as the ref – Alain Rolland signalled for a Quins penalty, put his whistle to his mouth, then let Racing carry on attacking! I’m not one for ref bashing, they’re generally very efficient, but? What was that all about?
The second half didn’t produce too many points – just a penalty a piece for both teams. But Harlequins again dominated, in spite of a half containing only 6 points it was great to watch. What became clear was that Quins played as a team, they were there for each other and supported in all positions. Racing Metro for all their superstars appeared at times to be strangers and really never looked like scoring a try. There were small hints of the skills of the individuals but it just didn’t gel, could this be a knock on effect for the high spending French teams, it’s going to be interesting to see. I’ll be supporting Quins at The Big Game after Xmas, a bit odd for a Saracens fan, but when they’re on form they play a style of rugby to be admired. They still have an uphill battle if they’re to progress in the Heineken Cup but they’ve certainly tipped things in their favour.
As far as Racing Metro are concerned I have to say I was hugely impressed by their players after the game, they must have been pretty upset at a second loss to Harlequins but to a man they gave as many autographs and had as many photos as people wanted. Jamie Roberts in particular gave a lot of his time.
Harlequins salvaged their Heineken Cup hopes for this season with an impressive 32-8 victory against Racing Metro 92 in France.
Quins secured a bonus point win thanks to tries from Nick Evans, Nick Easter, Charlie Walker and Karl Dickson.
Harlequins produced their fourth consecutive victory in the Aviva premiership, after a 35-9 victory against the Newcastle Falcons in the North East on Sunday.
Quins ran in four tries, including a brace from Sam Smith, along with a try each from Danny Care and Tom Williams. Nick Evans also kicked 15 points.
Conor O'Shea, John kingston and Colin Osborne, Director of Rugby, Head Coach and Skills Coach respectively, have extended their contracts with the club until the end of the 2015-16 season.
Harlequins marked the 50th anniversary of the first ever match played at the Stoop, with a 27-19 victory against Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.
Tries from Nick Easter, Danny Care and Luke Wallace along with 12 points from Nick Evans sealed Quins second home victory of the season.
HARLEQUINS 26 SALE 31
LV= Cup Friday 15th November 2013
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins suffered their second defeat in this seasons LV=Cup competition against a very strong Sale Sharks side at the Stoop on Friday night.
A very young Quins side, including 18 year old James Chisholm making his first senior debut were also in the contest, which was decided by the experienced Danny Cipriani going over for a try in the last ten minutes.
The home side opened the scoring after nine minutes following a quick tap penalty from Karl Dickson who found Charlie Walker, the winger produced a quick burst of pace to run inside the 22 and fed Ben Botica who went over. The Kiwi converted to give Quins a 7-0 lead. Sale levelled the score after 18 minutes through a David Seymour try and a Nick Macleod conversion.
Sale were awarded a penalty a few minutes later, which Macleod converted to give Sharks a slender lead. In the 28th minute Quins were down to 14 men when Captain Luke Wallace was sent to the sin bin for killing the ball. The Visitors capitalised on the extra man advantage when Rob Miller’s pace beat three Quins players to touch down. Macleod kicked the extras to give Sharks a 10 point cushion. Right on the stroke of half-time Quins were awarded a penalty for Sale straying offside, Botica kicked over to leave Sale 17-10 ahead.
The Fly-Half kicked another penalty shortly after the restart to reduce the deficit to four points. Quins joy was short-lived following a Sale driving maul James Gaskell went over. Macleod had an easy kick under the post to add the extras. Harlequins scored their second try of the night when Dickson offloaded to Wallace who passed to Walker, his blistering pace carved through the Sale defence for the 21 year old winger to score under the posts. Once again the reliable kicking of Botica reduced the deficit to just a single point. But it was Sale who scored their bonus point try for Cipriani, following Dwayne Peel’s tap and go. The last word of an absorbing contest belonged to Quins, with another successful penalty kick converted by Botica, who kept up his 100% kicking record on the night. Despite a late surge of Quins pressure, it was the visitors who held out to register their first victory in the competition.
Harlequins were defeated by Exeter Chiefs 19-5 at Sandy park in the LV=Cup on Saturday.
Paul Sackey, with a try was the Quins points scorer.
Harlequins pulled of a stunning 23-16 victory against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Saturday.
Tries from Nick Easter and Matt Hopper, along with 13 points from Nick Evans secured the points for Quins, in a fine all round team performance.
To add to Harlequins ever growing injury list, Quins have been rocked by the news that George Lowe will be out for the rest of the season. Lowe, injured his neck in the game against Saracens on the 28th September. Following further scans and advice from specialists, he has been advised not to play again this season. Meanwhile Harlequins have signed Centre Tim Molenaar from Gloucester.
Harlequins picked up their first home win of the season with a 24-3 victory against Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership at the Stoop on Saturday.
Tries from Luke Wallace and Jack Clifford, his first try for the club, along with 14 points from Ben Botica secured a comfortable victory.
Harlequins picked up a losing bonus point at Clermont in Round two of the Heineken Cup in France on Sunday, thanks to an 80th minute drop goal from Nick Evans.
Clermont, who haven't lost a Heineken Cup match at home for six years, crossed over for three tries in the opening 25 minutes. Tom Willaims pulled a try back for Quins, and at the break the home side lead 20-13. Clermont converted an early penalty, but Quins never gave up, and were rewarded for their efforts when Evans secured a point with a last gasp drop goal.
Harlequins suffered their third defeat of the season when they went down by 18-13 at the Madejski Stadium to London Irish on Saturday.
With both sides level at half time 6-6, it was Irish who were the better side in the second half with tries from Cowan and Lewington to give the home side a 18-6 lead. A Danny Care try and a Nick Evans conversion reduced the deficit to five points, but Irish held out.
Saracens continued their impressive start to the season with a 22-12 victory over Harlequins at the Stoop on Saturday.
Tom Williams made his 200th appearance for Quins, but it was Nick Evans who scored all 12 points for Quins, from his boot. For Sarries, Owen Farrell scored 17 points and Chris Ashton went over for a try.
Harlequins bounced back from their loss to Northampton,with a comprehensive 37-13 victory over the Worcester Warriors at Sixways on Friday night.
Tries from Danny Care, Mike Brown, Joe Marler and Rob Buchanan and 14 points from fly-half Nick Evans, who didn't miss a kick all game, sealed a bonus point victory for Quins.
HARLEQUINS 6 NORTHAMPTON 13
Aviva Premiership Friday 13th September
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of the Northampton Saints, at a rain soaked Stoop.
The game was a contest between the kickers with the scores level at 6-6, but with seven minutes remaining Saints grabbed the points with a James Wilson try and a conversion from Stephen Myler.
Quins had the first chance to put some points on the board when they were awarded a try in the fifth minute, but Nick Evans effort went wide. Saints opened the scoring five minutes later when Stephen Myler slotted over a penalty. Evans eventually put Quins on the board, with his third attempt at goal shortly before the half hour mark. That was to be the last action of the half, as the sides went into the break level at 3-3.
With the rain getting heavier, and conditions deteriating Quins were awarded a penalty two minutes after the restart, but once again Evans missed the target. The Kiwi was more successful in the 50th minute with a penalty kick to give Quins a slender lead. The lead was short lived when Saints were awarded a penalty which Myler converted. With around 20 minutes remaining Evans was replaced by Ben Botica who had an immediate chance to give Quins the lead, but his penalty effort came of the post.
In the 73rd minute Quins tried to clear their lines with a Danny Care box kick, but his effort was charged down by Sam Dickinson who exchanged passes with Jamie Elliott, he sent the ball to James Wilson who went over in the corner. Myler added the extras to give Saints a seven point cushion. There was still time for both Nick Easter and Stephen Myler to receive yellow cards. Despite a late surge from Quins the visitors held on to record victory. Quins didn’t come away empty handed, as they managed to pick up a losing bonus point for their efforts.
Harlequins opened their Aviva Premiership campaign with a dramatic last gasp victory against London Wasps at Twickenham on Saturday.
With just under ten minutes remaining Quins were leading 16-10, only for Wasps to score an 80th minute try. It was left to Andy Goode to kick the conversion that would secure victoey for Wasps, but his effort hit the post.
A Karl Dickson try, and 11 points from the boot of Nick Evans secured the narrowest of victories for Quins by 16-15.
Mike Brown has re-signed with the club until the end of the 2015/16 season.
Chris Robshaw has signed an extension to his contract which will see him stay with the club until the end of the 2015-16 season. He will also remain as captain for the forthcoming season.
HARLEQUINS 40 LONDON SCOTTISH 15
Pre- Season Friendly Friday 16th August
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins completed a comprehensive victory over Championship side London Scottish at the Stoop on Friday.
Quins scored six tries, and Fly-Half Ben Botica missed just one of his attempts at goal. The home fans were treated to their first sighting of new signing Paul Sackey who played 65 minutes, before being forced off with cramp.
The visitors took the lead in the fifth minute when lee Millar kicked a penalty. Harlequins scored the first try of the game in the 25th minute following a driving maul it was Darryl Marfo who came up with the ball, Botica converted and Quins led 7-3.
Three minutes later an offload from Jordan Turner-Hall into the hands of Tom Williams who went over, Botica once again kicked the extras to give Quins an 11 point cushion. Captain for the night Luke Wallace scored Quins third try of the night following a pass from Botica. The Fly-Half duly converted to give the home side a 21-3 half-time lead.
Paul Doran-jones made his debut for the club in the second half, but it was the visitors who scored their first try of the game in the 53rd minute following a driving maul and Lee Calder went over, Dan Newton converted to reduce the score to 21-10. Not to be undone, Quins quickly restored their lead two minutes later when Matt Hopper stormed up field and passed to Tom Guest to go over, Botica kicked the extras. Tom Williams scored his second try of the night shortly afterwards following a Guest offload. For the first time in the game Botica missed his first conversion of the night.
Miles Mantella was brought on by the visitors with 15 minutes to go, and with his first touch went over for a try. The conversion was missed by Newton. With 10 minutes remaining Scottish were reduced to 14 men when Neil Best was shown a yellow card. Quins took advantage of the extra man when Jack Clifford scored a try which was converted by Louis Grimoldby to seal a comfortable Quins victory.
Harlequins have signed Paul Sackey, as injury dispensation cover for Ross Chisholm who tore his ACL recently.
Sackey, returms to the capital after three seasons in France with Toulon and Stade Francais.
Harlequins have been drawn alongside Bath Rugby, Worcester Warriors and Ospreys in pool 3 of the LV=Cup competition.
Quins will open their defence of the cup away at Exeter, over the weekend of the 8th,9th ,10th of November.
Lock Forward Nick Kennedy has joined Harlequins from Toulon. Kennedy, will join up with his new team mates on the 22nd July.
Harlequins will commence their Aviva Premiership campaign with an opening game against London Wasps at Twickenham on Saturday 7th September, with a 4.30 kick-off time.
Six days later, Northampton Saints will be the visitors to the Twickenham Stoop, with a 7.45 start. Harlequins are on the road the following week, on Friday 20th September when they visit Worcester to face the Warriors. The eagerly awaited game against Saracens takes place on Saturday 28th.
Harlequins make the long trip to newly promoted Newcastle, to face the Falcons on Sunday 1st December. Exeter Chiefs will be the visitors to Twickenham Stadium for the sixth Big Game on Sunday 28th December.
Quins will open their Heineken Cup campaign in the weekend of 11th-12th and 13th October, while the defence of the LV=Cup will begin in November.
Harlequin’s final league game in the Aviva Premiership, will be at home against Bath on Saturday 10th May.
Quins forwards Olly Kohn and Will Skinner, have been forced to retire from the game due to injurys. Khon has been advised to retire from the game immediately due to a shoulder injury. Skinner has also been advised not to play again, due to a neck injury.
Harlequins have been drawn with Clermont Auvergne, Scarlets and Racing Metro in the pool stage of next seasons Heineken Cup.
Harlequins have announced some pre-season games ahead of the forthcoming season.
Quins will be taking part in a new rugby festival to be held in Geneva, on Friday 9th August. Harlequins will play Racing Metro 92, with a 5 pm kick-off.
Harlequins have also arranged two pre-season freindlies at the Stoop. On Friday 16th August Quins will be entertaining London Scottish, with a 7.30 kick-off and on Saturday 24th, Quins will be playing Glasgow Warriors, with a 2.30 kick-off.
HARLEQUINS 22 NORTHAMPTON 19
Aviva Premiership Saturday 4th May
Peter Moore at The Stoop
Harlequins survived a late fight back from the Saints to finish third in the Aviva Premiership, and book a Semi-Final against Leicester at Welford Road next Saturday.
With both teams who had already qualified for the forthcoming Semi –Finals, this game was to decide who was to finish third and fourth, and who would play either Saracens or Leicester.
On a Sunny but windy afternoon, with good support for both teams, understandably with a lot to play for, both teams made errors early on. Northampton strayed offside after 12 minutes which enabled Nick Evans to kick a penalty, and open the scoring for Quins.
After 22 minutes Danny Care kicked a grubber kick down the right for Tom Williams, the ball bounced over Ben Foden for Williams to go over for a try in the corner,Evans kicked the extras, as Quins extended their lead to 10-0. Northampton thought that they had had a try awarded in the 25th minute when Ken Pisi went over, but after consultation with the TMO, the try was disallowed for obstruction, by George Pisi on George Lowe.
The visitors eventually did get on the board after 29 minutes when a Ben Foden pass found Jamie Elliott who went over in the corner. Stephen Myler dragged his conversion attempt wide of the posts, to leave the home side 10-5 in front. With five minutes remaining of the first-half Quins were again penalised for offside, up stepped Myler, and for the second time this afternoon dragged his effort wide.
Half time: Harlequins 10 Northampton 5
Within a couple of minutes of the restart Luke Wallace set up Rob Buchanan who drove his way over the line for the home side. Evans, from under the posts converted, and Quins increased their advantage to 12 points. Shortly afterwards Saints were penalised for not rolling away, but Evans missed his kick by a whisker.
Following great work from Danny Care, who broke away, the ball fell to Buchanan, his pass went to George Lowe who sent a looping pass into the hands of Tom Casson to bundle over, Evans missed the conversion, but Quins led 22-5.
Harlequins then appeared to switch of for ten minutes, as they let the visitors back into the match, following a driving maul by the visitors Dylan Hartley crossed over and Myler kicked the extras to reduce the deficit to 10 points. The visitors were beginning to get more momentum, when Christian Day- on his 100th appearance- went over and Myler converted to narrow the gap to just three points.
In a frantic last ten minutes both coaches brought on some replacements, but Quins held on to record a 22-19 in a very entertaining match, and will now play Leicester at Welford Road next Saturday in the Semi-final. Attendance: 14,800
Harlequins secured their place in the Aviva Premiership play-offs with a 42-26 victory over Worcester at Sixways on Saturday.
Quins scored six tries in the process of beating the Warriors. A brace from both Danny Care and Nick Evans along with one each from Tom Williams and Mike Brown, secured a bonus point win for Quins.
Quins returned to winning ways, after three successive defeats, with a 23 - 9 victory against Bath in the Aviva Premiership at the Stoop on Saturday.
Two second-half tries from Danny Care and Ugo Monye- on his birthday- sealed victory for Quins.
Harlequins participation in this seasons Heineken Cup competition came to an end on Sunday at the Quarter-final stage, when Irish side Munster inflicted a 18-12 defeat at the Stoop on Sunday.
Nick Evans was Quins only points scorer, with four penalties.
Harlequins went down to their third succesive Aviva Premiership defeat, when they suffered a 17-15 loss to Gloucester at Kingsholme on Friday.
Sam Smith and Rob Buchanan scored a try apiece and five points from the boot of Nick Evans were Quins points scorers.
Harlequins will now look to put this defeat behind them as they look forward to the visit of Munster in the Heineken Cup Quarter Final on Sunday at the Stoop.
SARACENS 27 HARLEQUINS 12
Aviva Premiership Sunday 24th March
Peter Moore at Allianz Park
Saracens extended their lead to five points, after doing the double over Quins with a conclusive victory on a bitterly cold Sunday afternoon, at a sold out Allianz Park.
The home side started of strongly when Mako Vunipola produced a surging run into the 22, Quins conceded a penalty and Owen Farrell put the first points on the board. Nick Evans drew Quins level after Sarries were penalised for offside. Evans then kicked a penalty to restore Quins lead, only for Farrell to level for Sarries with a penalty.
Harlequins were reduced to 14 men when Joe Marler was sent to the sin bin for lying over the ball. The reliable boot of Farrell kicked over the posts and Sarries lead 9-6. Farrell then added another penalty to extend Saracens lead to six points. The home side made the most of the numerical advantage on the half hour mark when South African Schalk Brits went over the line, Farrell’s conversion attempt was missed, as Sarries lead 17-6. Marler returned to the field for Quins, and Evans pulled three points back with a penalty kick to leave the half time score 17-9.
As the second half commenced it was Quins who put the first points of the half on the board through a Nick Evans penalty, only for Sarries to score another try as they seized on another Quins error. The ball went wide to Farrell whose cross field kick was plucked out of mid-air by Will Fraser who went over, Farrell kicked the extras and Sarries led by 24-12.
Further ill-discipline from Quins resulted in another penalty to the home side which Farrell kicked over. That was to be the last scoring of the match, which Saracens deserved to win.
Now Harlequins must put this defeat to one side and focus on their next game, which is this Friday when Quins travel down to Kingsmeadow to face Gloucester.
Harlequins were crowned LV=Cup winners on Sunday, when they defeated Sale Sharks 32-14 at Sixeways Stadium.
Quins were facing a full-strength Sale side, but with 15 of the squad players all under the age of 23, they proved to strong for Sale. Tries from Tom Williams, Tom Guest, Tom Casson and Luke Wallace were enougth to ensure that Quins would claim their second piece of silverware this season, after earlier taking the A League title in December.
HARLEQUINS 31 BATH RUGBY 23
LV=Cup Semi-Final Saturday 9th March
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins booked their place in the final of this seasons LV=Cup competition, by defeating Bath Rugby in a cracking semi-final at the Stoop on Saturday lunchtime.
Quins took on their more experienced opponents with 16 of the squad under the age of 23. The home side got off to the perfect start with two tries in the course of the opening twenty minutes.
After just eight minutes Quins opened the scoring with a stunning try. From a lineout Botica fed Williams who passed to Maurie Fa’asavalu who sent in Tom Guest who ran in untouched, Botica converted and Quins were on the board . Twelve minutes later Kyle Eastmond’s pass was intercepted by Tom Williams just outside the 22, he ran the length of the pitch to score a try under the posts, Botica converted from under the posts to give Quins a 14-0 lead.
Bath manage to get on the board in the 26th minute following a third lineout a rolling maul enabled Francois Louw to bundle over for a try, Tom Heathcote kicked the extras. Harlequins scored their third try of the half when the excellent Karl Dickson went over and Botica again kicked over the posts to give Quins a 21-7 lead. Shortly before the break Heathcote dragged three points back for the visitors with a penalty, and at half-time Quins led 21-10.
Within thirty seconds of the restart Bath were awarded a penalty which Heathcote kicked over to reduce the gap to eight points. In typical fashion Quins responded in the 53rd minute with the try of the match. Luke Wallace broke down the right wing and produced a stunning offload to Williams for a try. Botica kicked the extras and Quins lead 28-13. Shortly after Quins were reduced to 14 men for ten minutes when Sam Smith received a yellow card. Bath pounced on the numerical advantage and scored a try through Nick Abendanon, Heathcote converted. Heathcote kicked another penalty to make the score 28-23, and bring the visitors back into the game.
On 65 minutes Bath were reduced to ten men for ten minutes when Ross Catt was shown a yellow card from Referee Leighton Hodges. A couple of minutes later Quins were awarded a penalty and the reliable boot of Ben Botica kicked another three points for the home side to give them an eight point advantage. With time running out the Quins defence held firm and as the full time whistle was blown the young Quins side were deserved winners in a thoroughly entertaining game of rugby.
Harlequins will face Sale Sharks in the final of the LV=Cup next Sunday 17th March, at Sixways Stadium.
Exeter completed a double over Harlequins this season with a 27-16 victory at the Stoop on Saturday.
Despite Ugo Monye's 6th minute try, and Quins leading 16-12 at one point, the visitors staged a storming comeback with a couple of tries in the space of six minutes towards the end of the match to seal the points.
Harlequins increased their lead at the top of the table on Friday evening, after completing a 30-21 victory against the Sale Sharks at the Salford City Stadium.
A trie apiece from Nick Evans, Tom Williams and Charlie Matthews secured Quins 12th Aviva Premiership win of the season.
Harlequins announced today ( 20th February ) that the Heineken Cup Quarter -final game with Munster has sold out.
A 15,000 capacity crowd will watch the current Aviva Premiership Champions take on the two-time Heineken Cup Champions Munster at the Stoop on Saturday April 7th.
Quins returned back to the top of the Aviva Premiership, thanks to a 25-21 victory over Leicester at the Stoop on Saturday.
Ben Botica who was a late replacement for Nick Evans, who failed a fitness test on his ankle, contributed to the victory with a flawless kicking display. Danny Care scored a sensational solo try in the second half, after Quins trailed 18-12 at the break.
For the second time this season these two sides played out a pulsating London derby that came down to a kick at goal from Nick Evans with a minute remaining, to win the game for Quins.
Evans dragged his 45 metre penalty wide of the posts as Wasps hung on to record a 17-16 win. Harlequins, meanwhile had to be content with a losing bonus point that leaves them in second place behind leaders Leicester, who travel to the Stoop this coming Saturday.
Harlequins maintained their push for an Aviva Premiership, Heineken Cup and LV=Cup treble courtesy of a 16-12 victory over the Ospreys at Bridgend on Sunday.
A try from Matt Hopper and 11 points from Ben Botica made it four wins in four in the LV=Cup, and secured Quins a home semi-final against Bath in March.
This coming Saturday 9th February, Quins are back at the Stoop in Aviva Premiership action where London Wasps will be the visitors, with a 8 pm kick-off.
Harlequins have signed the England prop forward, Paul Doran-Jones from Northampton.
The 27 yeard old joins from the Saints where he has been playing for the past two seasons.
Harlequins made it three out of three in this seasons LV=Cup competition, with a 23-6 victory over London Welsh at the Stoop on Saturday.
Tries by Dave Ward and Mark Lambert, and 13 points from Ben Botica secured another victory for Quins. This week Quins travel to Wales to face the Ospreys in the LV=Cup on Sunday 3rd February, with a 5 pm kick-off.
Relevant Link: Official website for Harlequins www.quins.co.uk
Relevant Link: Official Harlequins website; www.quins.co.uk