Planet Rugby

Harlequins recover against Gloucester

28th November 2009 16:53

Share:

George Lowe on a run for Harlequins

Quins double: George Lowe

Harlequins came from behind to defeat Gloucester 35-29 in a thrilling Guinness Premiership fixture at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday.

Both clubs entered the season with high hopes of challenging for the top four yet find themselves at the wrong end of the table. Even winning this game guaranteed no more than a shuffle up the table.

Ultimately it was the home side who ran out bonus-point victors with a swashbuckling performance.

Quins welcomed back captain Nick Easter who missed England's three autumn internationals with a hamstring injury, while Gloucester recalled England backs Olly Morgan and James Simpson-Daniel.

It was the home team who took the initiative, Danny Care running a second minute penalty that ended up in the hands of Ugo Monye, tackled into touch by Charlie Sharples.

Gloucester then lost lock Will James to a leg injury after only five minutes. James left the field on a stretcher and was replaced by Adam Eustace.

But they responded by upping their tempo and earned their first shot at goal in the seventh minute. Freddie Burns hit the post with a kick from 35 yards, but Quins failed to clear the rebound and conceded another penalty for offside two minutes later which Burns dispatched from close range.

It was Gloucester whose ambition bore further fruit in the 14th minute.

A blur of excellent passing from midfield out to the right finished with skipper Gareth Delve pounding up the wing. Quins had two men between Delve and the line, but he barged past, and despite being hauled down from behind, managed to extend his right arm and plant the ball down. Burns missed the conversion.

Quins replied with a try on 19 minutes following a direct break by Care. Having drawn fullback Morgan, Care passed left, releasing George Lowe to accelerate clear of the cover and score between the posts.

Gloucester's second try in the 23rd minute was all about opportunism. Chasing a kick-ahead by Simpson-Daniel, Sharples kept going despite the presence of Mike Brown. The Quins fullback appeared to get a hand on the ball first as it crossed the line, but Sharples dived towards man and ball, and referee Tim Wigglesworth voted in the Gloucester wing's favour. Burns again missed the conversion.

Evans was more ruthless with the boot, kicking two goals in as many minutes.

Gloucester's panic in the face of pressure presented him with a 29th minute penalty, and he struck again to make it 13-13 90 seconds later after Gloucester had been punished for offside.

But back stormed Gloucester to regain the lead after 34 minutes when Burns re-discovered his radar to arrow home a 30 yard penalty.

All Black fly-half Evans wrapped up a rip-roaring first-half with a superb solo try that involved stepping two defenders and handing off a third. However, he missed the conversion.

Quins third try came six minutes after the break. Evans punted a penalty into touch, Tani Fuga found Easter at the back of the lineout and six passes later, a clever inside pass by Care saw Easter power through a gap to score behind the posts, Evans converting.

Within five minutes, they'd collected a four-try bonus point with a dazzling score. Care ran a tapped penalty from his own half, ripped through the Gloucester defence and the near 12,000 crowd erupted as Lowe scooted clear for his second try, converted by Evans.

Nick Robinson reduced the deficit for Gloucester with a close-range penalty after 54 minutes, and their hopes rose further when lock James Percival was sin-binned for ball-killing. Gloucester took a scrum from the penalty, and when a long-range pass was aimed wide to the right, Sharples scored his second try of an astonishing battle. Robinson converted to make it 32-26.

Evans brought his personal tally to 20 points with a penalty on 29 minutes, only for Robinson to again reduce the arrears with a 75th minute goal.

The scorers:

For Harlequins:
Tries:
Lowe 2, Evans, Easter
Con: Evans 3
Pen: Evans 3

For Gloucester:
Tries:
Delve, Sharples 2
Con: Robinson
Pen: Burns 2, Robinson

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 David Strettle, 13 George Lowe, 12 Nils Mordt, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter (c), 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 James Percival, 3 John Andress, 2 Tani Fuga, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Aston Croall, 18 Mark Lambert, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Neil Mcmillan, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Tom Williams.

Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 James Simpson-Daniel, 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Gareth Delve (capt), 7 Jake Boer, 6 Peter Buxton, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Will James, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Paul Doran-Jones, 18 Pierre Capdevielle, 19 Adam Eustace, 20 Akapusi Qera, 21 Jordi Pasqualin, 22 Nicky Robinson, 23 Lesley Vainikolo

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
Thursday , May 1
Zebre vs Ospreys17:00
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs HarlequinsNorthampton vs Harlequins Preview
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs RedsHurricanes vs Reds Preview
Western Force vs BullsWestern Force vs Bulls Preview
Cheetahs vs StormersCheetahs vs Stormers Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues 21 - 13 WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058