Planet Rugby

Quins get their five points

24th January 2009 15:19

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Tom Williams in HEC action

Danger man: Williams scored the all important fourth try

Harlequins have given themselves the best possible chance of a home quarter-final, thanks to Saturday's bonus point 29-24 Heineken Cup victory over the Scarlets.

With the luxury of qualification already sorted for Harlequins, thanks to the Scarlets' efforts last week, they knew they could focus on chasing tries. It was not always pretty, but it was very effective, and but for a mini-lapse of concentration during the second half Dean Richards can be reasonably satisfied.

It took the hosts a while to get going, the Scarlets took the lead through a Stephen Jones penalty, but despite trailing Quins were the dominant side. They got their just reward when Nick Evans fired over a penalty with twenty minutes on the board.

Having drawn level it took Quins less than sixty seconds to take the lead, Chris Robshaw rounding off a sweeping attack. Gonzalo Tiesi carried the early attack before his forwards took over, resulting in Robshaw being sent over by the elusive Tom Williams.

Quins, to the crowd's delight, almost produced a carbon copy seconds later, only for Chris Malone to be hauled down agonisingly short of the try line. The pressure did not stop there, a second try coming three minutes later to leave the Scarlets shell-shocked. George Robson was the benefactor of some good build -up play as Quins set about their business in an impressive manner.

Whilst the result was never in doubt the Scarlets held on for as long as possible, or rather for as long as it took Quins to cut out the silly errors. When they did James Percival was able to crash over after a powerful drive from Nick Easter. And then came the lapse in concentration, which cost Will Skinner's men two tries.

The first, scored by Morgan Stoddart, was the result of fine team work, the second, scored by Matthew Rees, was a superb individual effort. It was a score a wing would have been proud of, let alone a hooker. Sadly that was as good as it got for the Welsh side, as Quins gathered themselves to finish the job.

Tom Williams' try, his side's fourth, was a classic and ensured that Harlequins have given themselves the best possible chance of a home quarter-final. The last score went to the Scarlets, who never gave up, but it was Quins who had the last laugh - the only side from Pool Four to make it into the last eight.

The scorers:

For Harlequins:

Tries: Robshaw, Robson, Percival, T.Williams

Cons: Evans 3

Pen: Evans

For Scarlets:

Tries: Stoddart, Rees, G.Evans

Cons: S.Jones 3

Pen: S.Jones

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Nick Evans, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Chris Malone, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Will Skinner (c), 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Robson, 4 James Percival, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Tani Fuga, 1 Ceri Jones.

Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Jim Evans, 19 Tom Guest, 20 Jnr Poluleuligaga, 21 Charlie Amesbury, 22 De Wet Barry.

Scarlets: 15 Ceiron Thomas, 14 Darren Daniel, 13 Regan King, 12 Jon Davies, 11 Lee Williams, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 David Lyons, 7 Dafydd Jones, 6 Simon Easterby (c), 5 Dominic Day, 4 Vernon Cooper, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Phil John.

Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Iestyn Thomas, 18 Scott MacLeod, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 Gavin Cattle, 21 Gavin Evans, 22 Morgan Stoddart.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Touch judges: Colin Stanley (Ireland), Trevor Collins (Ireland)

Television match official: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)

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