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Harlequins

Harlequins

Quins are champions of England

26th May 2012 14:29

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Early score: Tom Williams

Harlequins secured their debut Aviva Premiership crown after overcoming Leicester Tigers 30-23 in a classic match at Twickenham on Saturday.

It had looked like Quins had assured themselves of their first league title after possessing a 30-13 lead with 13 minutes to go. However, a late show from the Tigers made for an anxious conclusion.

But they managed to hold them off in the London sunshine as Richard Cockerill's gutsy men fell to back-to-back Aviva Premiership final defeats.

Despite eight points from George Ford's boot to go alongside a Steve Mafi touchdown, the league winners led 14-13 at half-time through three Nick Evans' penalties and a Tom Williams' try.

Two more three-pointers from Evans took them further clear before Chris Robshaw barged over.

Quins' New Zealand fly-half then added another from the tee which, although Leicester mounted a comeback with a converted try from Anthony Allen and a Ford penalty, secured the coveted trophy.

Despite Quins finishing top of the table, it was Leicester who were considered odds-on favourites having won their previous eleven encounters. However, the Midlands' outfit started slowly and the London-based side took the early initiative. It was similar to the way in which they opened last year's final with Sarries, allowing the opposition to dominate possession.

Credit must also go to Harlequins who seized an 8-0 advantage after 10 minutes. After Evans had kicked a penalty, Williams touched down for the first try of the match when good hands from Mike Brown sent the winger over.

The Tigers hit back through Ford before his opposite number restored their eight-point lead.

But it was Leicester who were gaining the initiative and, after their fly-half had reduced the arrears, Mafi sprinted clear from a Quins' mistake at a line-out, Ford converting.

On 39 minutes, the Twickenham Stoop side hit back. Thomas Waldrom was sin-binned for cynically slowing the ball down and Evans converted the resultant penalty opportunity.

Into the second period and successive three-pointers from Evans took Quins six ahead.

And then the killer blow. After successive drives, Robshaw's fine line saw him crash over.

Evans scored a sixth penalty, but Leicester responded with Allen's try thirteen minutes from time. The Quins' nerves became even more frazzled when Ford reduced the deficit to seven points. However, the London-based outfit deservedly held on despite a late onslaught.

The scorers:

For Harlequins:
Tries: Williams, Robshaw
Con: Evans
Pen: Evans 6

For Leicester:
Tries: Mafi, Allen
Con: Ford 2
Pen: Ford 3

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (capt), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Olly Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Tom Guest, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Matt Hopper.

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (capt), 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 George Skivington, 3 Dan Cole, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Craig Newby, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Scott Hamilton.

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Dave Pearson, Paul Dix
Television match official: Geoff Warren

  • Harlequins Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , December 20
Harlequins vs Newcastle15:00
Saturday , December 27
Harlequins vs Northampton15:00
Sunday , January 4
London Welsh vs Harlequins14:30
Saturday , January 10
Harlequins vs Leicester15:00
Sunday , February 15
Wasps vs Harlequins14:00
Saturday , February 21
Harlequins vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , December 7
Harlequins vs Leinster15:15
Saturday , December 13
Leinster vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , January 17
Harlequins vs WaspsTBC
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Harlequins Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
LV= Cup
Friday , November 7
Harlequins 31 - 21 Newport Gwent D'gons
Sunday , November 2
Saracens 25 - 20 Harlequins
More LV= Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Wasps 16 - 23 Harlequins
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 Castres
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 10
Leicester 22 - 16 Harlequins
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
6Wasps820
7Sale Sharks820
8Harlequins819
9Gloucester816
10Newcastle Falcons813