Planet Rugby

Quins take advantage of Leeds

13th April 2008 17:05

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Danny Care Worcester Quins

Champion of the World: Quins star Danny Care books his ticket to New Zealand

Harlequins signed the execution order at Headingley by notching up a 32-6 victory over Leeds Carnegie on Sunday, running four tries past the stricken basement-dwellers of the Guinness Premiership.

Danny Care returned to Headingley to orchestrate a bonus-point 32-6 victory which moved Harlequins into second place in the league and all but sealed Leeds' relegation from the top flight.

Care, an England hopeful, progressed through the ranks at the Leeds academy before joining Quins in 2006 and has finally ousted Andy Gomarsall as the London club's established scrum-half.

The Leeds-born scrum-half played a prominent role against his former employers, dovetailing effectively with fly-half Adrian Jarvis and scoring a 52nd-minute try before departing to warm applause shortly after the hour mark.

Care's form earned him a call-up to the England training squad towards the end of the Six Nations and he is expected to be included in the squad to tour New Zealand in June.

Care's contribution aside, Dean Richards's promising young side were not at their expansive best but they did not need to be against a Leeds outfit for whom relegation beckons.

The match was finely poised at 11-3 in Quins' favour at half-time but the visitors moved through the gears after the break to register tries from Care, Jim Evans and captain Will Skinner to add to Mike Brown's first-half opener and earn a bonus point.

Leeds did not help themselves in the early exchanges and one shocking offload from Argentinian fly-half Alberto Di Bernardo fell woefully short of his nearest team mate.

If that glaring error did not underline the gulf in class between Leeds and the majority of Premiership sides then Harlequins' opening try in 13th minute did.

It was so simple yet so clinical as Jarvis flighted a high hanging kick into Leeds' right corner and fullback Brown out-jumped Richard Welding to ground the ball with ease.

Jarvis failed to add to his third-minute penalty as his conversion attempt sailed wide and Leeds, to their credit, gained a foothold on proceedings.

Di Bernardo got them off the mark with a 16th-minute penalty before Jarvis missed one from distance 11 minutes later after Leeds hooker Vili Ma'asi was sin-binned for kicking the ball away in a ruck.

Jarvis, however, struck his second penalty seven minutes before the break to put Harlequins 11-3 ahead at the break.

Leeds responded again when Di Bernardo claimed a penalty in the 46th minute which cut the gap to five points but they were punished six minutes later when Care breached their line.

A period of sustained pressure allowed Care to collect possession from the back of a scrum and force his way over the line from close range.

Jarvis added the extras but once again Leeds produced a spirited response which saw them carve Quins apart down the right flank, when Leigh Hinton fed the overlapping Welding only for Ugo Monye to make an outstanding cover tackle.

Care then departed and returned the applause given to him by the Headingley faithful and six minutes later Evans forced his way over.

Jarvis converted and Harlequins claimed a bonus point in the last minute when Skinner barged his way over from point-blank range for a try which Jarvis converted as Leeds were subjected to their 16th defeat from 19 outings of a desperate season.

The scorers:

For Leeds Carnegie:

Pens: Di Bernardo 2

For Harlequins:

Tries: Brown, Care, Evans, Skinner

Cons: Jarvis 3

Pens: Jarvis 2

The teams:

Leeds Carnegie: 15 Leigh Hinton, 14 Richard Welding, 13 Rob Vickerman, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tom Rock, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Joe Bedford, 8 Calum Clark, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Rhys Oakley, 5 Stuart Hooper (c), 4 Pablo Bouza, 3 Adam Hopcroft, 2 Vili Ma'asi, 1 Mike MacDonald.

Replacements: 16 Fosi Pala'amo, 17 Rob Rawlinson, 18 Erik Lund, 19 Adam Balding, 20 Darren Edwards, 21 Luther Burrell, 22 Adam Greendale.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Ugo Monye, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Simon Keogh, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Will Skinner (c), 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Robson, 4 Ollie Kohn, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Tani Fuga, 1 Ceri Jones.

Replacements: 16 Gary Botha, 17 John Brooks, 18 Jim Evans, 19 Nick Easter, 20 Andy Gomarsall, 21 David Strettle, 22 De Wet Barry.

Referee: Dean Richards

Touch judges: Martin Buck, Paul Dickens

Assessor: Brian Campsall

Television match official: David Hudson

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