Harlequins boss hails Tommaso Allan after fine debut

Planet Rugby

Harlequins director of rugby Billy Millard hailed Tommaso Allan after the fly-half impressed on his debut for the Premiership champions in their 26-20 victory over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park on Sunday.

With Quins’ first-choice pivot Marcus Smith currently out of action due to the mandatory rest period for British and Irish Lions players, new acquisition Allan was named in the Premiership champions’ run-on side for their season opener.

Named man of the match

And the 61-cap Italy international did not disappoint as he walked off with the official man-of-the-match award after finishing with assists in two of Harlequins’ four tries and a six-point haul courtesy of three conversions.

“Tommy Allan slotted into the system really well,” said Millard. “It’s not easy stepping in especially with big boots to fill unless you’re smart, skilful and experienced.

“That’s what he brings to the table. He is an international quality player who is very balanced, and he’s done very well.”

Allan set up tries for Joe Marchant and Louis Lynagh either side of half-time, while Lynagh also crossed early on following a looping Danny Care pass before the scrum-half scored a trademark sniping try to seal the bonus point.

“I’m more pleased for the team than I am for myself for winning this game,” added Millard. “It’s a good start to the campaign and it’s never easy coming up here.

“It’s only the second time since 2012 that we have won here. It’s a massive step forward this result when you look at the results across the league this weekend.

“We got our bonus point though which helps and it was two great tries from Louis. He’s in a stable with some very good outside backs.”

Falcons played their part in an enthralling game, with winger Adam Radwan absolutely electric in possession. He scored one try himself and set up fellow academy graduate Iwan Stephens for another, while Louis Schreuder finished off a breakaway interception and they saw a couple of tries ruled out.

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards said: “It’s unusual that we have crossed the line four times and not come away with the points, which is for various reasons.

“I don’t think we got the rub of the green with some of the decisions and that does happen. We gave away penalties and that’s fine but you expect consistency.

“Our mistakes were penalised and in playing games against the champions, it will be tough. We’ve got to be a little bit more compact in certain areas. A couple of their tries are from first or third phases plays so we need to look at being a little bit more clinical.

“It’s testament to the academy that we have young boys like Adam (Radwan), Ben (Stevenson) and Iwan (Stephens) coming through our processes.

“We still want to win games but it’s about developing players and winning games. Ultimately, the boys are disappointed today.”

George Ford praised after fine performance

Meanwhile, Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick hailed George Ford after the fly-half put in a top class performance in their Premiership win over Exeter Chiefs.

Fellow England international George Martin won the man of the match award but Ford stole the show as he orchestrated a 34-19 victory at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Ford was given the summer off by Eddie Jones, missing wins over the USA and Canada to recover from a niggling calf injury, but on the opening day of the new season he was outstanding.


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