Planet Rugby

Harlequins return to winning ways

11th February 2012 16:11

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Nick Easter Harlequins v London Irish  Aviva Premiership 2012

On the charge: Nick Easter

Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins got their campaign back on track on Saturday with a 30-23 win over London Irish at the Stoop.

Quins put their recent run of bad form behind them, as they secured a vital win to keep them on top of the standings.

Harlequins went into the game having lost their last three games in all competitions, and it was easy to see why early on.

The visitors went straight at them from the kick-off and had a try within two minutes - full-back Tom Homer diving over to give Irish a dream start.

The home side hit back immediately though with Nick Evans landing a penalty. Indeed Harlequins then began to boss the game for a period as they went in search of a try and midway through the half they were rewarded for their efforts as Tom Casson went over.

Evans added the extras and Irish needed a response.

Both sides had their fair share of possession approaching half time, but it was the away side who were to go into the interval on top as Tom Homer added his second and third penalties of the contest to leave the Exiles up by three points at the break.

The hosts came out strongly in the second half, and it wasn't long before they had their second try of the contest with Tom Williams diving over, Nick Evans adding the conversion to leave the home side in command.

Danny Care added a fine drop-goal soon after and Harlequins were now looking like the confident team who top the Premiership.

Irish responded well to their credit, and hit back with a Jonathan Joseph try, converted by Homer.

But Harlequins weren't to be stopped, and scored a penalty soon after, Evans also adding a drop goal, before Ross Chisholm dived over for a try to restore the hosts' superiority.

Evans then scored another penalty to extend Harlequins lead before Adrian Jarvis gave Irish a glimmer of hope landing a penalty in the closing stages.

But it wasn't to be as Harlequins held out for a much-needed, confidence-boosting victory.

The scorers:

For Harlequins:
Tries: Casson, Williams, Chisholm
Cons: Evans 3
Pens: Evans 2
Drop: Care

For London Irish:
Tries: Homer, Joseph
Cons: Homer 2
Pens: Homer, Jarvis

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson (c), 4 Olly Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Aston Croall, 18 Tim Fairbrother, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Will Skinner, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 George Lowe.

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Dan Bowden, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Richard Thorpe, 7 Kieran Roche, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 David Paice, 1 Clarke Dermody (c).
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Paulica Ion, 19 Ed Siggery, 20 Marland Yarde, 21 Delon Armitage, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Ross Samson.

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

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