Planet Rugby

Smith double floors Falcons

01st December 2013 16:23

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Harlequins returned to the top four of the Aviva Premiership standings after beating Newcastle 35-9 with a bonus-point at Kingston Park on Sunday.

Tom Williams' try and eight points from the boot of Nick Evans gave Quins a 13-6 half-time lead, with the Falcons responding through two Phil Godman penalties.

Although Godman added a third three-pointer after the interval, the visitors dominated the second period as Sam Smith (twice) and Danny Care touched down to give them the bonus-point win.

Despite a difficult start to the campaign, Quins have re-found the form which has made them perennial Premiership challengers over the previous few years.

And versus a team which has won just three domestic games all season, the visitors got off to the perfect start.

This encounter marked Dean Richards' first match against his former club since the 'Bloodgate' affair. It was therefore ironic to see Williams, the man at the centre of the controversy, score the first try of the afternoon when he latched onto Dave Ward's off-load.

However, Newcastle responded well to the setback and reduced the arrears when Godman kicked a penalty.

But Conor O'Shea's men regained control of proceedings and duly opened up a 10-point gap through successive Evans' three-pointers.

Godman then added his second from the tee as the hosts continued to battle, but Harlequins still had a 13-6 advantage going into the break.

The Twickenham Stoop-based outfit started the second half like they did the first and they touched down for their second try. Ward once again proved influential as his surge helped set up field position before the ball was shifted wide and Smith went over in the corner.

Although the Falcons' fly-half kicked a penalty, Evans added one of his own and Care crossed the whitewash from close range to ease Quins clear.

With 12 minutes remaining the away team secured the bonus-point when Smith took advantage of a turnover and scampered clear for a superb individual try.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:
Pen: Godman 3

For Harlequins:
Tries: Williams, Smith 2, Care
Con: Evans 3
Pen: Evans 3

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Richard Mayhew, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Carlo del Fava, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Sean Tomes, 20 Chris York, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 James Fitzpatrick.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Joe Trayfoot, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Easter (c), 3 Will Collier, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Harry Allen, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Charlie Walker.

Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Roy Maybank, Ashley Rowden
TMO: Graham Hughes

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