Tough win enough for Harlequins

Date published: October 18 2014

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Harlequins were made to work hard for a 25-9 victory over Castres Olympique at The Stoop in the first Champions Cup contest.

Harlequins were made to work hard for a 25-9 victory over Castres Olympique at The Stoop in the first Champions Cup contest.

A chance of a try grew worryingly more distant as the match progressed, until England scrum-half Danny Care raced onto Nick Evans’ kick ahead for the first try of the Champions Cup.

The obvious tactic of using the boot in the second half to pin Castres back was effective if not spectacular. When it counted though Quins were clinical, even if Europe’s new era didn’t exactly get off to the most exciting start, despite both team’s physical commitment.

Not that Harlequins will care. Win away to Wasps next week and they will take firm control of Pool 2. After a shaky start to the season, this was a big win.

Arguably the final score was a little harsh on Castres, who were more committed than Brive had been at Gloucester but toiled with their lineout, Brice Mach struggling to find his jumpers on a night when the weather couldn’t be used as his excuse.

Considering how disastrous the season for Castres has been so far, staying level with Harlequins at 3-3 after half an hour was an achievement. 81 tackles in the opening half underlined their commitment.

Rory Kockott and R

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