Planet Rugby

Harlequins put Exeter to the sword

28th December 2013 17:48

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Mike Brown Harlequins v Exeter AVP 2013

Mike Brown celebrates his try with team-mates

Harlequins returned to the victory trail with a deserved 22-6 triumph over Exeter at Twickenham on Saturday.

Quins controlled proceedings from the outset and secured the win thanks to three first half tries.

The teams were separated by just a point prior to kick-off but the home side looked by far the better side in front of a sizeable crowd at the headquarters of English rugby and will be disappointed not to have crossed the whitewash after half-time to claim a bonus point.

Quins made a lightning fast start to the match as they managed to get quick ball and create a huge overlap on the left-hand side, which fly-half Nick Evans gladly took advantage off.

The former All Black converted his own try and, although he missed two penalty attempts and his opposite number Gareth Steenson was on target with his only attempt, Harlequins always looked more likely to get the game's second try as Sam Smith and Mike Brown both went close.

They had to wait until the half-hour mark but that second try did finally arrive as the forwards put in the hard yards before Charlie Walker showed good pace and footwork to finish the chance off.

Walker's opposite number, Jack Nowell, was sent to the sin bin for a tip tackle in the build-up to the try to add insult to injury and Harlequins made the most of the extra man as Brown added a third try before the break after good work from Dave Ward and Danny Care.

Both sides had chances in the second half with the hosts' backline still looking dangerous and Luke Arscott and Tom Johnson both coming close for the visitors but three points apiece from Evans and Steenson were the only other scores as Harlequins recorded a precious victory over one of their rivals for a top four place.

The scorers:

For Harlequins:
Tries: Evans, Walker, Brown
Cons: Evans 2
Pen: Evans

For Exeter:
Pen: Steenson 2
Yellow Card: Nowell

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Luke Wallace, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Will Collier, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Max Crumpton, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Nick Kennedy, 20 Tom Guest, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (c), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeadle, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Brett Sturgess, 18 Alex Brown, 19 James Hanks, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Fetu'u Vainikolo.

Referee: JP Doyle (Eng)

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