Aviva Premiership: Harlequins record second win at the Stoop
Harlequins recorded a hard fought win against Newcastle Falcons at Twickenham to move up into seventh place.
It was a scrappy game played under a blanket of grey and relentless showers which denied the game any fluidity. Although Quins did try to stay true to their trademark, ambitious style of rugby, eventually both teams gave up running with the ball.
Harlequins escaped with a valuable win without injured England winger Ugo Monye, who was called up, instead, to ESPN’s pitchside ‘studio’.
A try from Tom Guest and a penalty try thanks to the ill discipline at a five-metre scrum were enough to beat Newcastle. Number nine Nick Evans also carried out his kicking responsibilities, admirably contributing three penalties and both conversions.
The first half score of 9-6 reflected the battle taking place between both fly halves. Quins then came out of the starting blocks after the break by blitzing the Newcastle defence.
However, Jimmy Gopperth kept his side in it with two further penalties. Quins were guilty of some woeful mistakes as the second half wore on. But the penalty try awarded for an illegal tackle on Danny Care at the base of the scrum gave the hosts a slight cushion.
Harlequins prop Joe Marler was heaped with praise for his performance and the difference he made in the scrums.
Quins Director of rugby Conor O’Shea said: “We did not play brilliantly, but the Premiership is about dogging out some games, doing your job and getting the victory. That’s what we did.”
Harlequins now face a tricky trip to France where they will face Bayonne in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Meanwhile, Sale lost by a solitary point to Wasps. Fly-half Dave Walder secured the win with a last minute drop goal to end Sale’s undefeated home run despite Charlie Hodgson’s imperious kicking display, scoring eight penalties, for the Sharks.
Gloucester won the West Country derby to move one point behind Bath. Both London Irish and Northampton Saints recorded home wins against Leeds Carnegie and Exeter Chiefs respectively.
Leeds remain winless and rock bottom with one point whereas Exeter Chiefs have surprised many and have won many plaudits so far this season with a number of spirited performances.
The final match on Sunday saw last years finalists go head-to-head at Vicarage Road. Saracens seemed determined to inflict revenge on the holders.
Tries from Schalk Brits and Richard Wigglesworth and a fine display from fly-half Derick Hougaard, who kicked 16 points, were enough to deny a second half resurgence from the Leceister Tigers.
Next round of Aviva Premiership fixtures in full:
Leeds Carnegie v Sale
Newcastle Falcons v Sarancens
Leicester Tigers v Bath
Gloucester v Harlequins
Exeter Chiefs v London Irish
London Wasps v Northampton Saints