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Exeter

Harlequins scrape past Chiefs

31st December 2011 17:44

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Danny Care try harlequins exeter

Early try: Danny Care

Harlequins needed a 77th-minute penalty to secure a hard-fought 11-9 Aviva Premiership win over Exeter on Saturday.

Rory Clegg's dramatic late penalty saw Harlequins claim their 11th win of the season at Sandy Park.

In a scrappy encounter, the game lit-up in the closing with moments and after Gareth Steenson had kicked a penalty six minutes from time, it looked like the Chiefs were going to emerge victorious.

However, it was left to Clegg to break Exeter hearts with his most difficult kick of the evening.

Quins were disappointing in the first half, unable to get their fluid game going in the face of some strong Exeter defence.

Despite Danny Care's early try, the Chiefs hit back and took the lead through two penalties from Igancio Mieres, but Clegg's three-pointer saw the visitors lead at the break.

The Chiefs have made a habit of starting slowly this season and they found themselves five points down when Care scampered over.

However, despite having the majority of the possession, the visitors struggled to come to terms with a fearsome opposing pack.

And a penalty led to an opportunity for the hosts which Mieres took. The Argentine fly-half then added his second on 31 minutes.

But Quins restored their advantage with the last kick of the half as they led 8-6 at the break.

The visitors improved in the second period, particularly up front, but they couldn't put their dominance on the scoreboard.

Clegg missed two penalty attempts as his total went to five stray opportunities in the match. And they were made to pay when Steenson kicked them in front, but the visitors' fly-half provided the final blow.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Pens: Mieres 2, Steenson
Drops:

For Harlequins:
Try: Care
Pens: Clegg 2

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Nic Sestaret, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 James Phillips, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Richard Baxter, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 John Andress, 2 Neil Clark, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Simon Alcott, 17 Hoani Tui, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Chris Bentley, 20 Tom Johnson, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Josh Tatupu.

Harlequins: 15 Mike brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Jordan Turner Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw (c) 5 George Robson, 4 Tomas Vallejos, 3 Tim Fairbrother, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 James Johnston , 19 Pete Browne, 20 Chris York, 21 Richard Bolt, 22 Ben Urdapilleta, 23 Sam Smith.

Venue: Sandy Park
Referee: JP Doyle

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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
5Harlequins1954
6Sale Sharks1951
7Exeter1940
8London Wasps1939
9Gloucester1937