Harlequins beat Gloucester Rugby in Stoop opener

Saturday, 9th September 2017 @ 15:00

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Harlequins bounced back from an opening round loss with an impressive 28-17 win over Gloucester Rugby in the Aviva Premiership.

As Mike Brown ran out for his record breaking 282nd professional appearance his side looked to mark the milestone with their first victory of the young season. Tries to Dave Ward and Charlie Walker looked to do just that as the hosts led 17-3 at the break.

The impressive display continued in the second spell as a a pair of penalties, and a Marland Yarde try, stretched the lead to 28-10 before a last minute try closed the gap and arguably flattered the visitors.

John Kingston will be happy his side bounced back from an opening round loss, and the 28-17 win continues the home form built up at the fortress Stoop over the past two seasons.

Earlier, Quins arrived back home wanting to lay a marker down after a disappointing result against London Irish across the A316 last Saturday.

New signing Demetri Catrakilis opened the scoring with a penalty before exiting the field in the 13th minute after taking a opposition shoulder to his throat.

The Cherry and Whites levelled the scores with a penalty of their own and a back and forth encounter was locked at 3-3 until the half hour mark.

Harlequins are a side that is known for its free-flowing rugby when conditions are good but on the afternoon their performance instead sparked when the heavens opened. With rain belting down in biblical proportions, and the Twickenham sky lit up by lighting, Quins struck with two quick tries.

First it was Dave Ward who crossed under the posts after a audacious pass from prop Kyle Sinckler. Their lead was soon doubled after wing Charlie Walker countered and found Danny Care, who passed to Yarde whose pass found Walker to score.

The replacement Marcus Smith converted both highlight reel tries and referee Luke Pearce blew his whistle for half-time with the home side in front 17-3.

Quins continued their momentum into the second spell as conditions improved at The Stoop. Gloucester irked out territory but they were continually greeted by a staunch rainbow coloured defence as the quartered men held them out.

The Harlequins defence finally faulted in the 55th minute as Freddie Clarke bundled over to close the gap to 17-10. The try only spurred Quins on as they started to string together some impressive attack.

First Smith extended the buffer back to double digits with a penalty, then a stunning Yarde break saw replacement Mat Luamanu score in the corner only for it to be ruled out for a forward pass in the build-up.

They stayed on the front foot however and were rewarded with a string of penalties, one of which Smith converted to take the score out to 23-10.

With just over ten minutes to go they put the match out of sight. Playing with an advantage Care sent a cross field kick out wide which Brown latched on to and played to Yarde who touched down in the corner.

Behind 28-10 the visitors would have one last crack at the Harlequins line with time winding down. While Harlequins were able to repel a number of attacks Gloucester eventually scored through Jacob Rowan with no time left on the clock. Billy Twelvetrees added the extras but it was too little to late as Harlequins ran out 28-17 winners.

Harlequins now sit sixth in the table on five points and while they will be happy with today’s win they will be aware of the tough task that faces them Sunday when they travel to the Ricoh Arena to face rivals Wasps.

They then return to The Stoop in a fortnights time to take on Leicester Tigers on Saturday 23rd September (kick-off 15:00) Tickets for that match are available now and be purchased by clicking here.

Catch highlights from today's win on Channel 5's highlights show at 20:00 on Sunday 10th September. 

Team line Ups

Gallagher Premiership

League Table 2017-18

22 17 0 5 618 354 79 42 13 4 85
22 16 0 6 731 350 89 40 10 3 77
22 14 1 7 615 501 79 61 10 3 71
22 14 0 8 455 506 55 60 7 0 63
22 13 0 9 537 472 61 55 5 6 63
22 11 0 11 572 531 63 68 8 4 56
22 11 1 10 490 597 65 73 8 2 56
22 10 0 12 556 531 67 60 9 5 54
22 8 0 14 509 645 64 80 5 6 43
22 7 0 15 479 640 58 78 5 3 36
22 7 0 15 432 601 54 74 5 3 36
22 3 0 19 385 651 42 85 3 7 22